Sean Kilpatrick’s Breakout Performance Against L.A.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Sean Kilpatrick’s Breakout Performance Against L.A.

 

Earlier this season, the Los Angeles Clippers annihilated the Brooklyn Nets sending them into a seven-game losing streak. Brooklyn could not find their rhythm as they were blown out game-after-game by the Clippers, Lakers, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Celtics, Pacers, and Kings—all in such order. A spark was needed to ignite the handicapped roster and lead Brooklyn out of their 4-12 tizzy.

Along came Sean Kilpatrick. In Tuesday night’s 127-122 double-overtime victory, Kilpatrick had the game of his life stylin’ and profilin’ all over the Clippers team. Kilpatrick—who’s having the most successful of his young career—finished with a career-high 38 points and 18 rebounds, along with 2 assists on 14/34 shooting and 4/12 three-pointers. Kilpatrick led a rally where Brooklyn was down as much as 18 points; he scored 20 in the fourth, alone, as the team’s facilitator. He became just the second player in 2016-17 to record 38 points and 18 rebounds in a single game. The other? Anthony Davis.

The entire game was a dogfight, as both teams were hitting clutch shot-after-shot ultimately leading to overtime. Kilpatrick’s fourth quarter was impressive, and his overtime period may have been even better. He scored 11 points in five minutes of the first round of extended play. It wasn’t over yet, though. Los Angeles Clippers sharpshooter Jamal Crawford forced double-overtime with a timely shot. The dagger came with 00:13.5 seconds remaining in double-overtime behind Kilpatrick’s game-sealing “and-1” finger roll.

“I ended getting into a zone,’’ Kilpatrick said. “At that point there was no turning back for me.” He continues, “yeah, when we went to [Los Angeles] they got us bad and that was really something that stuck in our minds… to grab a win like that against a top team is huge.”

 

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said the win reflected the “character” and “resilience” of a struggling team. Watching Kilpatrick chuck up shots early in the game, Atkinson shook his head and said,

“Sean [Kilpatrick], I think, was 2-for-10, and I’m sitting over there saying, ‘ Wow, he is really struggling. Do we get him out or what?” “Sean [Kilpatrick] kept at it and kept competing, got a few shots to fall and he started rolling. He did a great job,” he finished.

 

Alongside Brook Lopez, Kilpatrick may be Brooklyn’s new go-to player. His averages spiked to 16.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 42.1% from the field and 33.7% from three-point range. Over his last four games, Kilpatrick is averaging 24.8 points per game, a scoring average he may reach if his hot-streak continues.

 

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