Brooklyn Nets: 3 takeaways from heartbreaking loss at LA Clippers

Brooklyn Nets Lou Williams (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Lou Williams (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Lou Williams (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets fell to their third straight loss courtesy of the LA Clippers after an absurd game-winning 3-pointer by Lou Williams.

The Brooklyn Nets gave the LA Clippers everything they had. It just wasn’t enough.

One night after the crushing loss in Utah, the Brooklyn Nets were looking to get back on their feet and break a two-game slide. Unfortunately, this would require taking down the eighth-place LA Clippers on their home Staples Center floor; a tough feat against a 40-win ballclub.

For the majority of the first half, it looked as if the Nets were destined to pull off the impossible. On offense, the ball was flying around the court. The defense was equally swarming.

Kenny Atkinson‘s zone D proved to be a problem early on for the Clippers and the system forced LA into a multitude of unforced errors and ugly passes. (The Clippers had 14 turnovers on the night).

That all changed near the end of the second quarter as the Clippers climbed out of an 18-point deficit. (More on this later).

The two teams went back and forth throughout the third quarter and entered the final period of the game tied at 87 apiece.

LA’s bench unit took hold in the fourth quarter, building a 10-point lead in nine minutes of play. By then, it seemed like Clippers were about to run away with the game.

That all changed after a couple of timely Nets’ possessions. With 44 seconds remaining in the game, D’Angelo Russell hit a monstrous jump shot near the 3-point line.

Russell had his best game in the month of March, finishing the night with 32 points on 13-of-25 shooting as well as 10 assists. D-Lo also had a very solid night from deep, canning 6 of his 12 total attempts from deep.

Twenty seconds later, DeMarre Carroll extended out for a timely and-one layup while the shot clock expired. Carroll was the only the Brooklyn reserve who put together a strong performance; the small forward dropped 22 points on 7-of-13 from the field.

With 11 seconds remaining in the game, and the Nets down by two points, the always clutch Russell was in his bag of tricks again – this time hurling a tremendous pass to a rolling Jarrett Allen who slammed down a thunderous dunk.

With the score now tied 116-116, the Clippers inbounded the ball to Lou Williams. Williams, the likely front runner for Sixth Man of the Year and leader for LA, took three dribbles and pulled up for an off-balance, one-footed 3-pointer.

The ball swished through the twine for a game-winning three. Heartbreaking stuff.

Williams would finish the night with a team-high 25 points.

While the loss was certainly gut-wrenching, the Nets did everything they could to stay in the game. Brooklyn came back from numerous 10-point deficits. Unfortunately, the better team won on Sunday.

Brooklyn will have the opportunity to break the losing streak on Tuesday. The Nets head to Sacramento to face a feisty Kings team on the road.

As it stands, the Nets have dropped to seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn has a 1.5 game lead over the eighth-place Miami Heat and a 2.5 game advantage over the streaking ninth-place Orlando Magic.