Kilpatrick carries Nets past Clippers in double OT
NEW YORK -- For 36 minutes, there was a lid on the basket whenever Sean Kilpatrick took a shot.
Over the next 22 minutes, the lid was removed.
And instead of discussing a poor shooting night and another frustrating loss for the Brooklyn Nets, Kilpatrick gladly spoke about the best night of his brief career.
Kilpatrick scored 31 of his career-high 38 points in the fourth quarter and two overtime periods, and the Nets stopped a seven-game losing streak by rallying for a wild 127-122 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I ended up getting into a zone,” Kilpatrick said. “I think at the end of the day when you have that attack mentality, it really actually pays off because most of the time a natural reaction is to sit there and take a play off, and when you have somebody that’s just constantly sitting there attacking you every play, I think that’s something that keeps the defense off guard. At that point, there was no turning back for me.”
Kilpatrick finished off Brooklyn’s first win since Nov. 12 in Phoenix by providing the final margin with 13.5 seconds left. He drove through the lane, flipped up a layup while getting fouled by DeAndre Jordan and made the basket. Fittingly, it was the same hoop where he was 1 of 6 in the third quarter and missed game-winning attempts at the end of regulation and the first overtime.
“At one point in the game, I think he was 2 of 10,” Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I was sitting over there saying, ‘Wow, he is really struggling, do we get him out or what?’ Sean kept at it and kept competing, got a few shots to fall and started rolling. I thought he did a great job.”
After Kilpatrick’s final points, he grabbed the rebound of Chris Paul’s long 3-point attempt with 5.8 seconds left to cap a career-high night in points and rebounds (14).
“Sean had been going hot, so we kept feeding him,” said Nets rookie point guard Isaiah Whitehead, whose layup snapped a 122-122 deadlock with 47.7 seconds remaining. “He made some big plays down the stretch.”
Before the 3-hour, 5-minute marathon finished, the Nets had to withstand game-tying 3-pointers by Paul and Jamal Crawford.
Paul finished with a triple-double of 26 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, and his shot with 1.8 seconds left tied the game at 107-107. Crawford’s shot put the game in a 118-118 deadlock with 10 seconds left in the first overtime after the Nets held a five-point lead and missed four of six free throws in a span of 11.6 seconds.
The Nets had an extra set of free throws when Clippers coach Doc Rivers was tossed by ref Ken Mauer with 18.6 seconds left although he was questioning a call by Lauren Holtkamp. Rivers had to be restrained by assistant coaches and Jordan at one point before finally heading back to the locker room.
“I don’t think that an official that has nothing to do with the play should be giving someone a tech,” Rivers said. “That’s my thing. That’s why I got upset.”
“Watch the tape, behavior, language warrants a second technical foul,” Mauer said to a pool reporter. “(Rivers) warranted an ejection after getting a first technical foul.”
The game would not have reached the extra periods if not for Kilpatrick, who shot 5 of 17 in Brooklyn’s 127-95 loss to the Clippers on Nov. 14. The Nets made small progress from an 18-point deficit to get it to 86-73 through the third when Kilpatrick was 3 of 14.
In a span of 2:10, Kilpatrick scored 12 straight Brooklyn points to get the game from 94-87 to 99-99 with 3:37 remaining on an 18-footer. The Nets took their first lead (102-99) on a Brook Lopez 3-pointer with 3:02 left and a 107-104 advantage on Lopez’s 3-pointer with 71 seconds remaining in regulation.
Before Kilpatrick came alive, the Clippers scored the game’s first seven points and 11 in a row to get an 18-point lead with about three minutes left in the third. Then Los Angeles couldn’t apply the finish and wound up with its third straight loss, which infuriated Rivers more than the technical.
“I thought we lost our respect for the game,” Rivers said. “I thought we lost our humility. I thought we were playing great. We got up, we got cool. We stopped moving the ball. We went showtime, and I think when that happens, you deserve to lose the game, I really do.”
Lopez added 27 points for the Nets, who shot 54 percent (20 of 37) after the third.
Jordan added 21 points and 23 rebounds for the Clippers, who shot 34 percent (13 of 38) after the third.
NOTES: Los Angeles F Blake Griffin did not play due to Tuesday being a planned rest day. The decision was partially influenced by the team’s biometrics department, prompting coach Doc Rivers to quip: “I clearly didn’t (decide it). I‘m not smart enough to use biometrics.” ... Brooklyn G Jeremy Lin (strained left hamstring) missed his 12th straight game and coach Kenny Atkinson said Lin is progressing and doing better. ... Clippers rookie F Brice Johnson remained sidelined with a herniated disk in his lower back. Rivers said he not heard from the medical staff if Johnson’s return is close. .... Brooklyn F Rondae-Hollis Jefferson was available to play but did not play. He missed the last two games with a sore right ankle. ... The Clippers are on their first of three trips covering over 6,000 miles. The combined trips will be 16 games, totaling 18,540 miles and 19 flights.