NEW YORK (AP) — Brook Lopez had 26 points, including consecutive baskets during the game’s decisive stretch, and the Brooklyn Nets shut down the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter for an 86-76 victory Friday night.
Brooklyn outscored Los Angeles 23-13 during a final period in which Chris Paul had no points, two assists and six fouls. Deron Williams didn’t have a great game either, but he improved to 14-4 in the longtime rivalry between two of the NBA’s top point guards.
Joe Johnson added 19 points for the Nets, who limited the Clippers to 29 points in the second half and got back on track after losing the final two games of a six-game road trip.
Blake Griffin and Paul each had 14 points for the Clippers, who have dropped two in a row following a six-game winning streak. DeAndre Jordan had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Jamal Crawford finished with 13 points.
Williams had 11 points and eight assists, continuing a shooting slump by going 3 of 10. But the Nets didn’t need much with such a strong defensive effort.
They particularly got to Paul, who has trying to bounce back after going 2 of 14 and finishing with nine points and nine assists in a 117-111 loss at Oklahoma City, the first time he had been held to single digits in each statistic in the same game since last April 12.
Each team scored just 38 points in the middle two quarters, but the Nets finally got some offense in the fourth.
Keith Bogans made a 3-pointer to snap a 63-all tie entering the period, and the Nets had the lead until the Clippers scored five straight points to tie it at 74 on Crawford’s layup with 4:15 to play.
Gerald Wallace made one free throw with 3:58 remaining, then Lopez had consecutive baskets to make it 79-74 with 3:03 to go. The Clippers turned it over and the ball came to Johnson in the corner after a scramble for an offensive rebound, his 3-pointer making it 82-74. Williams followed with a pair of free throws as the lead hit double digits.
Caron Butler had seven points on 3-of-9 shooting in his return to the Clippers’ lineup after missing a game with a right shoulder strain.
The Nets made 11 of 17 shots in the first quarter, but missed their last attempt on the highlight of the period. Williams rose for a dunk attempt but Griffin was way higher for a powerful denial with 17 seconds left, sending Williams tumbling back to the floor and keeping it tied at 25 heading to the second.
It stayed close throughout the second before the Clippers scored the final eight points, starting with a pair of baskets by Griffin, to take a 47-40 lead into the break.
NOTES: On Black Friday, the Nets wore their road black uniforms. … Fans at the game included Nets part-owner Jay-Z and wife Beyonce, her former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, Billy Crystal and Ray Romano. … There was a fairly loud chant of “Overrated! Overrated!” when Griffin went to the line for a pair of free throws in the third quarter. He missed both shots.