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Clippers, Nets square off in Brooklyn

10:53 AM, Nov 23, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers will resume a four-game road trip Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

The Clippers had their six-game winning streak stopped Wednesday, a 117-111 overtime defeat at the hands of the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder.

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 23 points and Chris Paul was limited to nine in the loss. Paul dished out nine assists for the Clippers, who still lead the Pacific Division and were aiming for their first seven-game winning streak since an eight-game surge Nov. 30-Dec. 15, 1991.

"Give the Thunder a little credit but we have to do a better job of helping Chris Paul out," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We need to open up the floor as much as we can. I was proud of our guys though, we could have folded easily but we kept fighting."

Matt Barnes finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four steals, and was filling in for injured forward Caron Butler. Butler is dealing with a balky shoulder and is questionable for Friday. Barnes is probable with a dislocated pinky finger.

L.A. is off to its second-best 11-game start in team history and has held opposing teams below 46 percent shooting in eight straight games -- one shy of matching a franchise record set in 2001-02.

The Clippers are third in the league with 102.4 ppg and will close out their four-game swing at Atlanta Saturday night.

Brooklyn looks to get back on track and has dropped two straight since reeling off five wins in a row from Nov. 9-18.

In a 102-93 loss at Golden State in the finale of a three-game western road trip, Brook Lopez scored 22 points and Joe Johnson added 13 for the Nets, who saw the Warriors make 53.3 percent of their shots. Andray Blatche and Kris Humphries had 11 and 10 points, respectively, in defeat.

The Nets were outscored 33-20 in the third quarter.

"We have to figure how to change it up. Our defense really had a low grade in the third quarter," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "They were ready and had more energy than we did in the second half."

The Warriors held a 17-5 edge over Brooklyn in fastbreak points.

Brooklyn is slated to host Portland and New York as well on the homestand, and hopes to improve to 5-1 as the host this season. The Nets have held their opponent under 100 points in five of the last seven games and are 4-0 when scoring 100-plus points.

The Nets and Clippers split a pair of meetings a season ago, with each team winning on its home floor. The Clippers have lost their past four as the guest in this series.

The Sports Network

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