After falling to the Toronto Raptors on Friday, the Lakers were ready to take on another Atlantic Division foe in the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon.
With Jeremy Lin missing the game due to an illness, the pressure was going to be on Jordan Clarkson to log a lot of minutes at the point guard spot. Jordan Hill was also expected to return after sitting out the previous three games.
The Nets were in the midst of a late playoff push as they attempted to sneak in one of the final spots in the Eastern Conference. The veteran trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez continued to lead the way as the Nets looked to sweep the season series with the Lakers.
The Lakers started off slow as the Nets jumped ahead 6-0 behind Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. Jordan Clarkson would get the Lakers on the board with a jumper, but he struggled to contain Deron Williams on the other end. Back-to-back baskets from Williams put the Nets up 11-6, but a three from Wayne Ellington cut the lead down to two. Williams and Lopez continued to get easy baskets, pushing the Nets ahead 17-11 before alley-oop from Robert Sacre to Ryan Kelly brought the Lakers within four. Markel Brown started to get going for the Nets with a couple of baskets of his own and pushing the Brooklyn lead to nine. Both teams traded baskets as the Nets maintained a 28-19 lead with only a minute remaining in the first quarter. A jumper from Lopez ended the quarter with the Nets up 30-19.
Both teams struggled early, but the Lakers were able to get on the board in transition as Clarkson got a layup for the first basket of the quarter. A steal lead to a dunk for Jabari Brown as the Lakers cut the Nets lead to 30-24 early in the second. The Nets picked up after a timeout as Lopez and Jarrett Jack each got a bucket to put the Nets back ahead by double-digits. A Lakers turnover allowed Bojan Bogdanovic to get an easy dunk, but a jumper from Kelly and a layup from Brown brought the Lakers back within eight. The teams traded baskets before a three-point play from Joe Johnson put the Nets up eight. The Lakers were able to cut the lead to five after a huge dunk from Wesley Johnson, but the Nets pushed it right back out to nine after a transition layup from Joe Johnson. Ellington and J. Johnson traded threes as the Lakers remained behind by seven. Turnovers plagued the Lakers down the stretch and free throws from Alan Anderson put the Nets up 61-50 at halftime.
The Lakers started off quickly after a Clarkson three and a short jumper from Wesley. A tip-jam from Wesley increased the Lakers run to 7-0 to start the quarter before a Lopez hook shot got the Nets on the board. Another Lopez basket and a transition layup from Markel Brown put the Nets up 68-59. A three from Brown put the Nets back up double-digits. The Lakers responded with a quick four-point spurt capped off by a lob from Clarkson to Johnson. A three-point play from Lopez kept the Nets ahead as the Lakers fought to keep it close. A three from J. Johnson put the Nets up 10 as the third quarter began to wind down. The teams traded baskets again, but the Lakers got lost on defense and a wide open layup for Alan Anderson put the Nets up 11 with only a minute left. A three-point play from Hill was matched by a three from Anderson as the Lakers remained down 11 at the end of the third.
Jack started the quarter with a three point shot as the Nets looked to put this game away, but the Lakers would not go down quietly. Ellington, Hill, and Johnson battled to keep the Lakers within striking distance, and a three from Johnson cut the Nets lead to eight. A three from Jabari Brown brought the Lakers within five, but the Lakers failed to capitalize and get closer. Free throws from Plumlee put the Nets back up seven. Clarkson fought to keep the Lakers close as his floater brought the Lakers within 96-91 with four minutes left. Hill would drive right through Plumlee for a layup as the Lakers finally cut the lead to a single basket. Lopez got a wide open dunk on the Nets’ next possession to give the Nets a five-point cushion. The Lakers came up empty on a couple possessions and a J. Johnson corner three gave the Nets an eight-point lead with under two minutes left. Back-to-back baskets cut the lead four, but Lopez made a pair of free throws and Kelly missed an open jumper on the other end. More Nets free throws iced the game as the Lakers dropped their second straight game, 107-99.
Steve Nash Retirement Press Conference (Part Two)