Clippers power forward Blake Griffin blocks a shot by Nets point guard Deron… (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images )
NEW YORK -- Poor execution when the game was there for the taking doomed the Clippers. An inability to take care of the basketball during the game's most important moments doomed the Clippers. A stagnant offense in the second half doomed the Clippers.
It all added up to the Clippers losing, 86-76, to the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on Friday night.
"Good teams execute on the road down the stretch," Chris Paul, who had 14 points and nine assists before fouling out, said. "Everybody knows what their role is. We've got to do better, and that starts with me."
The Clippers lost for the second straight game on a four-game trip that ends in Atlanta on Saturday night.
It was just the second time this season the Clippers have lost consecutive games, and this time they did it by scoring a season-low in points.
They scored just 29 points in the second half, 13 in the fourth, their offense nowhere to be found.
They made 30.3% of their shots in the second half.
They couldn't contain Brooklyn center Brook Lopez (26 points) or guard Joe Johnson (19).
They turned the ball over 20 times, eight times in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers entered the fourth quarter tied at 63-63, but turned the ball over on three of their first six possessions.
Paul had a turnover after he was called for an offensive foul on Deron Williams with the Clippers down by one point late.
"It was timely turnovers too," Paul said. "In the second half, we were turning it over bad."
The Clippers had tied the score at 74-74 on a layup by Jamal Crawford in the fourth.
But their next few sequences were poorly played basketball.
They wound up being outscored 12-0 to fall behind 86-74 after former teammate Reggie Evans made one of two free throws with 51.3 seconds left.
It did not help that Paul committed all six of his fouls in the final 5:39 of the fourth quarter, fouling out with 51.3 seconds left.
His final two fouls were on Evans when Paul was trying to stop the clock and send Brooklyn's career 52.3% free-throw shooter to the line.
"Man, that was crazy, huh?" Paul responded when asked whether he'd ever fouled out in such a short period of time. "No, not even in no video game. That was six in five minutes, wasn't it?"
It didn't help the Clippers that Blake Griffin finished with only 14 points, just two in the second half.
He was five for 10 from the field, but he had only three field-goal attempts in the second half, missing all of them. He didn't get off a shot in the fourth quarter, his teammates seemingly unable to find their All-Star power forward.
"There's other ways to affect the game without getting shots," said Griffin, who had eight rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. "That's something that I've got to look at and get better at."