LOS ANGELES — After watching the Brooklyn Nets somehow erase a 10-point deficit in 5 7 minutes to tie the game late, Lou Williams did something which the super-scoring sub hadn’t done in his career before.
Danilo Gallinari took an inbounds pass with 5.3 minutes before passing into Williams, who drilled into a 28-foot game-winning 3-pointer while evaporating to his left a guardian to present the LosAngeles Clippers a thrilling 119-116 triumph over the Nets and set a jubilant celebration at Staples Center.
“My mates say I actually don’t understand how to celebrate. I have been working in my [celebrations]. They say I really don’t show emotion.”
The Clippers and Nets are fighting for a playoff spot in their respective conferences, plus so they both played like a berth was at stake in a game filled with emotion and wild endings swings. Even the Clippers (41-30), winners of seven of their last eight, are eighth in the West but only two games out of this fourth spot.
The Clippers trailed by as many as 19 in the second quarter just to storm back and take a 60-55 lead into the half after having a 33-9 run. They headed 105-91 using 7:07 left and then 116-106 with 1:02 left to play with until the Nets scored 10 unanswered to tie the game with 5.3 seconds left.
However Williams, who passed on Dell Curry a week for the majority of points scored with means of a book in NBA history, could not let the game go to overtime because he chose to show why he would be the league’s premier sixth man for the second straight season.
“He has been amazing, absolutely amazing,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s not scared.”
“He has had buzzer-beaters, but maybe there is one second left,” Rivers added. “But when I imagine you say buzzer-beater, I figure that way when it leaves your hands, there is no other shot. He has made some big shots for all year. It’s fine they did not have yet another opportunity because they would’ve scored, the way matters were moving.”
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said that there wasn’t any idea concerning fouling Williams before the shot.
“we all understand he is going to do something, whether he is likely to either get fouled, go to the freethrow line and also end the game or do exactly what he did to night, hit on a big-time shot.”