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Tthe first-place Nets wasted another 30-point triple-double from James Harden and suffered a shocking fourth-quarter collapse in a 120-116 loss to the undermanned Clippers at Barclays Center. Nets coach Steve Nash thought his first-place team “never really had the care factor or turned it up” against a depleted opponent, especially in allowing an “unacceptable” 71 points in the second half, and a steamed Kevin Durant used profane language to call out the entire team for taking the Clippers too lightly. “Like Coach said, we didn’t deserve to win this game. We came in here with a f–ked up attitude to start, thinking we were just gonna walk into a W,” Durant said. “Hopefully, a loss like this sit in your brain until tomorrow. … If you ain’t feeling like s–t after this game, you gotta look yourself in the mirror.”
Source: Peter Botte @ New York Post

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
KD, Nash and the rest of the Nets were frustrated after a poor performance to an undermanned Clippers squad. They’ve got a little soul searching to do after that kind of loss.…12:22 AM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
“We ain’t deserve to win this game,” said Kevin Durant. “We came in with a fucked-up attitude to start, thinking we were just gonna walk into a W.”
Nets fold in inexcusable loss to almost unrecognizable Clippers team.…11:40 PM

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
The Clippers came to Brooklyn without their coach and many of their best players. The Nets couldn’t convince themselves that the guys LA did have could beat them.
“You don’t think you could lose an NBA game like this,” Kevin Durant said.
The Nets did.…11:28 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
“Understand what your job is as an individual, and how you can be the best at that job and how you can bring it to the collective. It’s always about the collective. So if you ain’t feeling like s–t after this game, then you gotta look yourself in the mirror.”
-Kevin Durant – 10:59 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
That was as frustrated as I can remember seeing KD after a game in a while. “We’re going to continue to get our ass kicked if we don’t approach the game in the proper way.” – 10:47 PM

Mirjam Swanson @MirjamSwanson
More to come on this one: Patchwork Clippers knock off Kevin Durant, James Harden and the Nets…10:43 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
KD: ‘We just relaxed too much … like Coach said we didn’t deserve to win this game. We came in here with a f***** up attitude. Thinking we were just going to walk into a W.” – 10:41 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Kevin Durant said when Patty Mills fouled out, the Clippers were yelling that the Nets were down to two shooters. – 10:35 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
“We came in here with a F-d up attitude to start, thinking we was just gonna walk into a W.”
– Kevin Durant is not happy with this loss. – 10:35 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Kevin Durant: “We came in with a ****ed up attitude to start.” Echoes Nash that the Nets deserved to lose. – 10:33 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
James Harden said Patty Mills fouling out allowed LA to load up on him and Durant more, but wasn’t sure how big of a difference that played compared to some of the Nets other problems. – 10:27 PM

John Schuhmann @johnschuhmann
This is some brutal defense. Harden & Bembry don’t know whether they’re switching or not, & Durant has no intention of rotating down to the corner shooter. PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Final: Clippers beat the Nets 120-116. James Harden scored 34, Kevin Durant had 28. Brooklyn led by 13 with about six left and blew the lead. A bad loss. Brooklyn back at Barclays on Monday. Ja Morant comes to town. – 10:06 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Nets suffer bad loss to a severely undermanned Clippers team. 15 turnovers hurt — so did lack of intensity/execution at various points. Clips did a nice job down the stretch limiting KD. Sending two at him every time and forcing somebody else to beat them. – 10:05 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Clippers up 118-116 after Durant splits pair.
Clippers have missed 9 of 29 FTs tonight. They take their last timeout with 7.3 left. Nets also out of timeouts. – 10:03 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Kevin Durant splits a pair of free throws after getting fouled. First miss of the night for him. Nets down 118-116 with 7.3 seconds left. – 10:02 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Coffey stays in.
Durant gets a 3 from Johnson out of the timeout.
Then Bledsoe gets picked by Johnson, which Brooklyn scores off of with a Harden layup from Johnson.
A Bloodsport sponsored sequence.
Brooklyn back in control with a 103-92 lead, 6:25 left in fourth. – 9:35 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Schedule might’ve gotten Amir’s hamstring…
But hell of an advance to Ennis, who makes up for a Patrick Ewing meme of a shot against Durant to finish an alley.
Brooklyn up 98-92 with 7:10 left in the fourth quarter. Still hanging around… – 9:31 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
End of the third quarter: Nets lead the Clippers 87-80. James Harden with 24 points, Durant with 22, Mills with 14. Steve Nash has only gone nine deep tonight with eight logging 16 minutes or more. – 9:16 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Clippers have made 5/8 3s in this third quarter to not get completely ran over by this offensive onslaught from Harden.
Brooklyn up 83-75 with 2:04 left in third quarter. Durant/Harden up to 46 points on 16/34 FGs (47%) – 9:10 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
It’s almost like Clippers’ best defense for James Harden is for Kevin Durant to play 😅 – 8:43 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Admirable first half from Clippers, who have kept things close in Brooklyn.
Nets lead 53-49 at half. They’re demolishing Clippers 33-20 on glass, and have fewer TOs (6-8).
Durant finished half well, leads all scorers with 16. Harden only 2/10 FGs but has 6 assists. – 8:37 PM

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
Nets up 53-49 at halftime against the short-handed Clippers. Clippers made their first four 3-pointers and they’re 2 for 15 since. Durant has 16 points. – 8:36 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
End of the first half: Nets lead the Clippers 53-49. Kevin Durant has 16 points, but the Nets have had pretty balanced scoring. Four other guys with eight points. BK has an 11-4 edge in second-chance points, but is struggling from deep. Just 27 percent. – 8:36 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
The Clippers are holding on due to Brooklyn shooting sub 40% from the field. Durant/Harden: 6/20 FGs (30%). That number will be the barometer towards whether or not this margin stays manageable.
Brooklyn leads 49-45 with 2:47 left in first half. – 8:30 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
End of the first quarter: Nets lead the Clippers 30-29. I want to say Nic Claxton shimmied after that dunk, but am not positive. Kevin Durant leads the Nets with nine. – 8:05 PM

Mirjam Swanson @MirjamSwanson
Clippers-Nets to start 2022
Terance Mann
Amir Coffey
Serge Ibaka
Eric Bledsoe
Reggie Jackson
Kevin Durant
Bruce Brown
LaMarcus Aldridge
Patty Mills
James Harden – 7:07 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Nets starters against the Clippers: Harden, Mills, Durant, Brown and Aldridge.
This is the 14th different starting lineup. – 7:05 PM

NBA Math @NBA_Math
RPR MVP Predictor, determined by Rolling Player Ratings and team success:
1. Nikola Jokic: 15.34
2. Stephen Curry: 14.48
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo: 14.29
4. Kevin Durant: 14.07
5. Trae Young: 13.52
6. LeBron James: 13.23
7. Donovan Mitchell: 13.04
8. DeMar DeRozan: 12.9 AM

Chris Sheridan @sheridanhoops
LeBron James of #Lakers begins the new year 1.6 points per game behind Kevin Durant of #Nets for league lead in scoring. A month ago, James was 80-1 at major U.S. sportsbooks to win scoring title. No book is offering that market anymore. – 7:35 AM

More on this storyline

Both Durant and Nash acknowledged the team’s intensity wasn’t where it needed to be from the start. “It’s natural when a team is missing so many players,” Durant said when asked why the Nets’ attitude was the way it was. “They’re going through so much over there. [We] relaxed. You don’t think you could lose an NBA game like this. They’re missing how many guys? They’re playing guys that are up from the G League. Xavier Moon came in and hit some shots for them. Keon Johnson, James Ennis — they all made an impact I felt on the game, and I think we came in too chill to start.” -via ESPN / January 2, 2022

Harden recorded his third 30-point triple-double in four games since his return from the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The nine-time All-Star finished with 34 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists in 40 minutes to continue his best string of performances of the season. “It’s a tough one. It’s frustrating,” Harden said. We just didn’t do the things to secure the win or do what we’re supposed to do. “I don’t think we did that from the beginning of the game, and we give a team confidence and let them hang in the game for four quarters, and stuff like this happens.” -via New York Post / January 2, 2022

Alex Schiffer: DeAndre’ Bembry said he hasn’t seen his fellow St. Patrick Celtic, Kyrie Irving, since his announced part-time return and adds the Nets haven’t really seen him since training camp. -via Twitter @Alex__Schiffer / December 24, 2021