Ladies and gentlemen, the New Jersey Nets have won a basketball game!
Behind 25 points from Kris Humphries, 19 from Brook Lopez and 18 from Keyon Dooling, the Nets shot 53.2 percent and played fantastic team basketball, beating the visiting Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night despite missing several key players
Playing without Devin Harris, Courtney Lee and Bobby Simmons, the Nets started Dooling and Chris Douglas-Roberts at guard, Trenton Hassell and Yi Jianlian at forward, and Lopez at center.
Yi and Hassell both played under 15 minutes. Which was a good thing, because they were terrible, and their court time paved the way for several reserves to step up and contribute big things.
Humphries, a very pleasant surprise since recently becoming a Net, shot 10-for-14 and 5-of-5 free throws for 25 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes.
Other reserves stepped up for the Nets: Jarvis Hayes scored nine, Chris Quinn (on just two FG attempts) had eight, and rookie Terrence Williams (3-of-8) seven points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
For the Clippers, Chris Kaman (9-of-18) had 24 points, 11 rebounds and three assists (but five turnovers). Craig Smith came off the bench to shoot 6-of-8 for 18 points and eight rebounds. But point guard Baron Davis shot a miserable 2-for-10, snatching three steals but not contributing much else. Eric Gordon managed just 12 points. Marcus Camby played just seven minutes and brought little. And that was about it.
As a team, L.A. shot 42.1 percent, and hit just 5-of-19 three-pointers.
The Nets dished 29 assists, the Clippers 20.
The only negative note for the Nets was the lack of fans in attendance to witness the rare victory. Officially, 9,220 were in the arena. But as horribly low as that number sounds, it’s quite likely on the high end.
Still, for a day, at least, the Nets can be proud of themselves. They are now 4-40 . And their next three games are at home against very beatable teams: Washington, Philadelphia and Detroit.