LOS ANGELES -- In a span of just five nights, the Los Angeles Clippers got the better of Steve Nash and Jason Kidd -- the top two point guards in the NBA -- and sent them out of Staples Center on the losing end.
Corey Maggette scored 31 points and rookie Al Thornton added 15 of his 22 in the fourth quarter and overtime, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 120-107 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night. Chris Kaman had 12 rebounds and a career-high nine blocked shots.
"We had some really nice performances tonight," coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Obviously, Al Thornton gave us a huge lift off the bench when Tim Thomas got into foul trouble. Al is a player with a lot of offensive talent. What it comes down to for him is that he needs to find that comfort zone and confidence."
Sam Cassell scored 22 points and reserve Cuttino Mobley had 19, leading Los Angeles to only its third victory in 14 games. The Clippers beat New Jersey at home for the fourth straight time, including a 102-101 squeaker last season that was decided by Mobley's 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds on the clock.
Richard Jefferson scored 21 points, Vince Carter had 20 and Marcus Williams added 17 off the bench for the Nets, who have lost four straight and five of six following a season-best five-game winning streak.
Josh Boone had 17 points and 16 rebounds, while Kidd finished with 11 assists, 10 points and seven boards in the opener of New Jersey's six-game road trip.
The Clippers, who came in averaging a league-worst 92.6 points, outscored New Jersey 19-6 in overtime and sewed it up by going 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 1:08. The Nets were 1-for-8 from the field in the extra five-minute session and shot 41 percent overall.
"They executed very well and played really well on defense," Boone said. "That's what it came down to once we got to overtime. They were able to play defense and get the win."
Thornton, the Clippers' first-round draft pick, made a running bank shot from 30 feet at the right sideline to beat the third-quarter buzzer and slice New Jersey's lead to 72-71. The lead changed hands seven times in the fourth before Carter drove the left baseline for a reverse layup with extra hang time. It put the Nets ahead 86-85 with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter.
Williams buried a 3-pointer 41 seconds later and Jefferson added a pair of three throws for a 91-85 margin with 4:44 remaining -- the first time either team led by more than five points in the second half. Mobley's 3-pointer cut New Jersey's lead to 96-94 with 2:30 to go in regulation, and the Clippers pulled ahead 98-96 on Maggette's layup and Thornton's two free throws with 1:25 left.
"Thornton changed the game for them with his post-ups and his ability to score and get fouled," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Maggette was huge with his 31 points. When you look at it, that is a team that averages 92 points. But our inability to get stops when we needed to prevented us from getting the win."
Maggette added a 3-pointer after Boone missed a reverse layup at the other end, giving Los Angeles a five-point cushion with 45 seconds left in the fourth. Jefferson kept the Nets close with a dunk, then Cassell missed a 20-footer at the other end with 14 seconds on the clock, and Kidd tied it 101-all on a 3-pointer from in front of the New Jersey bench to force OT.
"They hit those three shots at the end of regulation, but we put it to them in overtime," Kaman said.
|Brevin Knight (left) is happy Corey Maggette (31 points) is on his team. (Getty Images)|
|New Jersey (18-21)||19||26||27||29||6||107|
|L.A. Clippers (12-24) «||21||21||29||30||19||120|
|NJ:R. Jefferson 21 Pts
NJ:J. Boone 16 Reb
NJ:J. Kidd 11 Ast
|LAC:C. Maggette 31 Pts
LAC:C. Kaman 12 Reb
LAC:T. Thomas 7 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles||New Jersey|
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|V. Carter, SG||48||7-18||6-9||7||5||3||20|
|R. Jefferson, SF||44||5-14||11-13||5||4||4||21|
|J. Boone, PF||40||7-18||3-4||16||1||2||17|
|J. Kidd, PG||37||4-8||0-1||7||11||4||10|
|S. Williams, PF||31||4-8||3-4||11||0||5||11|
|M. Williams, PG||22||6-11||2-2||2||4||2||17|
|B. Nachbar, SF||14||3-6||1-1||1||0||2||7|
|M. Allen, PF||11||1-6||0-0||1||1||2||2|
|J. Collins, C||11||0-1||0-0||1||0||1||0|
|A. Wright, SF||8||1-2||0-0||3||0||1||2|
|D. Armstrong, PG||Did Not Play|
|J. Magloire, C||Did Not Play|
|N. Krstic, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|C. Kaman, C||44||5-16||0-0||12||1||4||10|
|S. Cassell, PG||39||9-16||3-4||4||6||3||22|
|C. Maggette, SF||35||11-16||7-8||7||6||3||31|
|T. Thomas, PF||34||4-13||2-3||6||7||5||10|
|Q. Ross, SF||17||0-3||0-0||2||0||3||0|
|C. Mobley, SG||43||4-8||10-12||4||2||5||19|
|A. Thornton, SF||26||8-12||5-6||3||2||3||22|
|B. Knight, PG||14||1-3||0-0||1||4||0||2|
|J. Powell, SF||12||1-2||2-2||1||0||0||4|
|A. Williams, C||Did Not Play|
|E. Brand, PF||Did Not Play|
|D. Dickau, PG||Did Not Play|
|S. Livingston, PG||Did Not Play|
|P. Davis, C||Did Not Play|
|G. Diaz, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|