Brooklyn, NY – Brook Lopez scored 26 points and sparked a strong late run that lifted the Brooklyn Nets to an 86-76 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Barclays Center.
Lopez made two key baskets as part of a 12-2 spurt over the game's final four minutes as the Nets ended a two-game slide that followed a string of five consecutive victories. Joe Johnson knocked down a back-breaking 3-pointer during the deciding stretch and finished with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
Brooklyn also prevailed by owning the paint, putting together a 42-34 advantage in interior points due in large part to Lopez hitting 13-of-24 attempts.
"Brook was a monster tonight," said Nets point guard Deron Williams. "Joe was great as well. It looked like Joe finally got into a rhythm offensively."
The Clippers shot just 35.7 percent during a 13-point fourth quarter and turned the ball over 20 times overall in suffering a second consecutive defeat after winning six in a row. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul each had 14 points in the setback.
"We didn't get [Griffin] the ball enough, especially in the second half," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro remarked. "And I thought we didn't open up the court up well enough for Chris at times so he can get some attempts up as well. We need those guys to score."
Paul added nine assists, while DeAndre Jordan posted 12 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles.
The Clippers fought back from a 74-69 deficit with under five minutes to go, tying the contest on a conventional three-point play from Jordan and Jordan Crawford's fast-break layup after stealing the ball away from Kris Humphries.
That basket, which came with 4:15 remaining, would be Los Angeles' last as the Nets ripped off 12 consecutive points to seize the win.
The pivotal run began when Gerald Wallace made 1-of-2 free throws after being fouled by Paul moments after Crawford's score, and continued when Lopez sank a pair of runners in traffic within a 30-second span to put Brooklyn up 79-74 with three minutes left.
"Brook's been great for us all year," said Williams. "We've been able to count on him every game. He was being aggressive on both ends of the court, which is what we wanted to see."
After the Clippers turned it over on their next two trips down the court, Johnson delivered the dagger -- a 24-foot baseline jumper that extended the lead to eight with 1:42 on the clock.
Los Angeles continued to misfire as time wound down, and the Nets sealed it by making good on 4-of-6 foul shots in the closing seconds.
Neither team was ahead by more than seven points over the first three quarters, with the contest knotted at 63-63 entering the fourth. Brooklyn would score the first five points of the final period, with Reggie Evans draining a pair of free throws after Keith Bogans put the Nets in front with a 3-pointer with 9:40 left.
The lead teetered around five until Jordan threw down a dunk off a Paul feed and was fouled with 4:42 remaining, with the Clippers' big man converting the ensuing bonus shot before Crawford pick-pocketed Humphries and scored uncontested.
The Clippers did close out the first half strong, with two Griffin buckets jump-starting an 8-0 flurry that gave Los Angeles a 47-40 advantage at the break.
Brooklyn chipped into its deficit in the third quarter, pulling even when a Lopez dunk knotted the score at 53-53 near the midway point of the session.
Los Angeles has now lost 13 of the past 14 meetings between the teams on the road ... Wallace returned to the Nets' lineup after sitting out Wednesday's loss at Golden State with an ankle injury that kept him out of six of the last seven games, finishing with eight points in 38 minutes ... The Clippers' Caron Butler came back from a one-game absence due to a strained right shoulder, but managed just seven points on 3-of-9 shooting ... Los Angeles had a 17-0 advantage in fast-break points ... The Clippers lost for the first time in seven games this season when leading at the half.