Gameday: Nets vs. Clippers

The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers have both toiled for years as the proverbial younger brothers in the respective shadows of their metropolitan foes, the Knicks and Lakers.

The 2012-2013 season has seen the emergence of these two franchises from their long-held backseat roles. Tonight’s 48 in SoCal will mark the second and final time these two squads will do battle in the regular season.

In their first year in Brooklyn, the Nets have compiled a 40-28 record and have clinched a playoff berth after missing the postseason for four years straight. They are currently in the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference, only a game and a half behind the suddenly slumping Knicks.

The 47-22 Clips also sit in the 4th spot of their conference and have clinched a playoff berth as well. They are a whopping 11.5 games better than their Staples co-tenants.

Brooklyn has won six of their last eight contests, including four road victories. On Wednesday night coach P.J. Carlesimo’s guys destroyed the Mavericks 113-96 in Big D.

Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento KingsBrook Lopez scored a season-high 38 points to go along with 11 boards and 2 blocks. Deron Williams went for 31 points and 6 dimes in front of his hometown crowd. In addition, super-motor Reggie Evans hauled down 22 rebounds.

The Clippers are 5-4 in the month of March and have yet to record back-to-back wins. After a disappointing 116-101 loss at Sacramento on Tuesday, coach Vinny Del Negro’s team bounced back with an easy 101-72 win against Philadelphia in Los Angeles.

As is so often the case, PG Chris Paul led the team with 19 points, 9 dimes, 6 boards and 5 steals. This was especially important because backup 1-guard Eric Bledsoe missed his 5th straight game with a calf injury and super veteran Chauncey Billups sat out with a hamstring issue. Both players are listed as questionable for tonight’s matchup.

When these two sides played in Brooklyn on November 23rd, the Nets topped the Clips 86-76. The game was tied going into the fourth quarter when the Nets pulled away, limiting LA to 13 points in the final 12 minutes. Lopez led the team with 26 points and 3 blocks.

Tune in to the YES Network at 10:30 PM ET to see if the Nets can improve on their 18-14 road record and take the season series from the Clippers.

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