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Lakers vs. Nets final score: Jordan Hill's massive game not enough in 107-99 loss

The Lakers lost a Sunday afternoon game to the Brooklyn Nets in spite of Jordan Hill's 22 points and career-high 16 rebounds. While they made a few runs the Lakers never truly threatened the Nets, who are in the midst of a playoff push.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday the Los Angeles Lakers pulled into Brooklyn to take on the Brooklyn Nets for the fourth game of a five-game road trip. With just 11 games left on the schedule and a draft pick on the line it's nervous-time in LA, as the tank race is becoming uncomfortably tight thanks to the dramatic slide of the Orlando Magic. A 107-99 loss was too close for comfort in Brooklyn.

Fortunately, the Lakers opted to bench tank-busting Jeremy Lin (illness), Carlos Boozer (rest) and Ed Davis (rest). Jordan Hill made his return to the court after a three-game absence, but one of his best games of the season wasn't enough to get the win.

The Lakers began the game with Wayne Ellington taking Lin's place in the starting five alongside Jordan Clarkson, Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, and Tarik Black. The game got off to a rough start, with the Lakers turning the ball over three times in the opening  three minutes. Brooklyn repeatedly took advantage of the Lakers lack of interior size by getting the ball into the high and low post, where Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee did a great job of either scoring themselves or kicking out to open shooters when the Lakers guards would double-down.

The first quarter ended with the Lakers trailing 30-19. While the Lakers shot the ball at a solid clip (48 percent) the Nets offense was simply too much for LA to handle, with 11 assists on 14 made-baskets.

At the start of the second quarter the Lakers opted to disrupt the Brooklyn offense by pressing, which initially was successful, allowing the purple and gold to go on a 5-0 run. After an adjustment the Nets responded by once again getting the ball inside both off the dribble and in post-up situations, where they seemed to score at will. While the Lakers did what they could to battle back the half ended the same way the first quarter did, with an 11-point lead for Brooklyn.

The Nets lead could have been larger but they opted to somewhat abandon the inside game and launch 17 threes, making only three of them. The Lakers were lead by Jordan Clarkson and Jordan Hill with nine points each. Hill also had nine rebounds in the half, and was clearly feeling his oats after being "rested" for the previous three games.

The play of the first half for the Lakers came on this Wesley Johnson fake-handoff that allowed him to take former-Laker Earl Clark off the dribble and get the dunk:

The Lakers started the second half on a 7-0 run, highlighted by another Wesley Johnson dunk off of a put-back, but the Nets were able to right the ship thanks in large part to the monstrous play of Brook Lopez. The Lakers seemed a step slow and had no answer for Brooklyn's crisp passing, which consistently shifted the LA defense out of position and found open looks.

Jordan Clarkson continued to do a solid job running the show at the point guard position. Perhaps what was most striking was the rookies' ability to keep up with former All-Star Deron Williams rather easily. It's safe to say that Mitch Kupchak has found himself quite a player with the 46th pick in the draft.

While the Lakers showed some fight the third quarter ended with the Nets, once again, up by 11.

With just under four minutes left in the fourth the Lakers got to within three points on an offensive rebound and short jumper by Jordan Hill, but LA would get no closer as the Nets went back to healthy doses of Brook Lopez (30 pts, 11 rbds, 4 blk) to carry them.

The Lakers were led by Jordan Hill, who finished with a massive 22 points and 16 rebounds. Jordan Clarkson (18 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists) and Wesley Johnson (17 points, 5 rebounds) were also bright spots for LA, but the rest of the squad combined to shoot just 17-for-44 (39 percent).

The play of the second half once again went to Wesley Johnson, who hammered home the alley-oop from Clarkson:

With the loss the Lakers fall to 19-53 on the season. The team will fly to Philadelphia tonight to take on the Sixers in a game with massive draft implications. For now the tank rolls on, which is a good thing considering the play of Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns in the NCAA Tournament.