Nets Looking For Fourth Straight Win
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(AP) — If the New Jersey Nets are to accomplish a feat they haven’t reached in more than two years, they’ll have to do it without superstar point guard Deron Williams.
The Los Angeles Clippers won’t have their leading scorer, and they’ve been waiting even longer for this sort of winning streak.
Williams will miss his second straight game Friday night while tending to the birth of his child when New Jersey hosts Los Angeles, which again will be without Eric Gordon.
Missing Williams on Wednesday, the Nets (20-43) beat Golden State 94-90 for their third straight victory behind 26 points and 10 rebounds from Brook Lopez. New Jersey hasn’t won four consecutive games since Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2009.
Williams, averaging 15.8 points and 15.2 assists in five games with the Nets, is expected to rejoin the team Saturday.
Lopez helped make up for the missing production with his second straight double-double, which he hadn’t done since March 24-26.
“The team definitely fought through on this one,” Lopez said. “I knew we’d pull it out just because of the way we were playing defense. We were getting stops.”
Anthony Morrow added 22 points, and Kris Humphries had 11 and 15 rebounds for his career-high fifth consecutive double-double.
“Our big guys were terrific,” said Sasha Vujacic, who had 16 points. “We were able to limit their shots and easy buckets.”
Lopez scored a team-high 24 points Nov. 15 in a 110-96 victory against the Clippers.
Blake Griffin hasn’t scored less than the 11 points he had in that contest since, though he came close in a rough performance Wednesday.
Los Angeles (25-40) beat Eastern Conference-leading Boston 108-103 despite only 12 points and seven rebounds from Griffin on 4-of-14 shooting. Griffin had recorded a double-double in eight straight games prior to Wednesday.
The Clippers have won a season-high four straight following a stretch in which they lost 12 of 14. They haven’t won five in a row since Nov. 2-12, 2006.
Mo Williams scored 28 points, his most in five games since being acquired from Cleveland.
“There’s so much attention to Blake, but you win as a team,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “The reason we’re playing a little bit better is that we have weapons.”
However, one of those weapons may not be around any time soon to help extend the winning streak.
Gordon, who scored 30 points in the November meeting with New Jersey, re-injured his wrist Saturday against Denver. He’ll miss his third straight game Friday, and Del Negro said he isn’t sure when Gordon will return.
“Let’s just see how he responds to the therapy,” Del Negro said. “It’s his shooting hand, so it might make it a little more difficult. But all signs point to him returning. But when? That’s another story.”
DeAndre Jordan scored a season-high 21 points, his most since tying a career high with 23 on Jan. 12, 2010.
The Nets have not swept the Clippers in a season series since 2003-04.
Updated March 10, 2011
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