Austin Rivers drilled a 3-pointer with 33.8 seconds left Sunday night to give the Los Angeles Clippers the lead for good in a 123-120 win over the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
It was the last of a team-high 27 points for Rivers, who made 10 of 15 from the field and hit four 3-pointers, including the one that lifted the Clippers to 34-28. They are a half-game behind Denver for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Tobias Harris added 26, while Lou Williams scored 21 points, including a jumper with 8.9 seconds remaining to give Los Angeles a three-point advantage.
DeAndre Jordan contributed a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Miles Teodosic chipped in 14 points and Montrezl Harrell netted 11.
Caris LeVert came off the bench to score 27 points for Brooklyn, while DeMarre Carroll hit for 20, going 6-for-11 on 3-pointers. Three other reserves had big scoring games for the Nets, with Joe Harris adding 19 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 15 and Dante Cunningham 14.
Brooklyn had two chances to force overtime on its last possession, but Harris had one 3-pointer blocked by Sindarius Thornwell and missed a second one as time expired.
Los Angeles had the jump coming out of the gate, scoring the game’s first 10 points. Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson had to burn a timeout just 3:15 into the contest after Rivers drove for a layup. The Nets trailed by as many as 11 in the quarter before drawing within 32-27 at its end.
Brooklyn drew within 48-46 with 6:43 left in the first half on a layup by Cunningham, but the Clippers rode Harris down the stretch of the half to establish a 65-53 halftime advantage. Harris finished with 18 points, 10 in a span of less than 3 ½ minutes late in the second quarter.
After Los Angeles upped its lead to 15 early in the third quarter when Harris drained a 3-ball, the Nets worked their way back into contention. Hollis-Jefferson led the charge with six points in the period’s last three minutes as Brooklyn closed within 91-86.
—Field Level Media