• Clippers 102, Nets 101: After their heartbreaking loss at the Staples Center, the Nets have dropped three straight on their current road trip, all to Western Conference teams and all in brutal fasion. In fact, they're 16-9 against teams in their own conference but 4-14 against the others. But that doesn't tell the story of Thursday's game. Each of the losses on the trip has been worse than the one before. The Nets gave up a buzzer-beater on Wednesday at the Warriors, but against the Clippers, they rallied from 18 down only to lose the game on a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds remaining.

    Unfortunately for the Nets, their tread-water strategy while waiting for injured players to return won't work too well against most teams in the West. A team like the Clippers -- now .500 at 21-21 -- would probably look much better in the Eastern Conference. New Jersery has two more games on this trip, and 0-5 is a possibility, even if the last two matchups don't rip the Nets' hearts out like Thursday's did.

Photograph of Cuttino Mobley and Vince Carter after Mobley sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Mark J. Terril/AP