When you think of continuity and success, you think of the San Antonio Spurs. Ya’ know, Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and their 14 years together, yeah, you know. Then, when you think of what the Nets have done these last 3+ years together, you think of inconsistency and missed opportunities, having four different coaches in three years, with a new surrounding cast almost every season.
However, one thing that’s been consistent with the Nets is losing to the Spurs. That explains their 12-game road losing streak to San Antonio, dating back to 2003.
Despite missing four primary role players, the Spurs, once again beat the Brooklyn Nets, 99-87. This extends the Nets' losing streak in San Antonio to 13, and makes the losers of six of their last seven. They shot the ball at an alarmingly low rate of 35%, while finishing 33% from three and allowing the Spurs to shoot 52% from the field. It seemed like every time the Nets would flash a little hope into their game, the Spurs would answer with a big run to kill all momentum.
Top performers for Brooklyn: In his first game starting in his young NBA career, Mirza Teletovic was one of the two primary stars for Brooklyn. He scored 22 points and eight rebounds, both being season-highs, on 8-of-14 from the field and 4-of-8 from three. Deron Williams also had himself a well-rounded night, finishing with 25 points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. Aside from those two, Joe Johnson was the only other Net in double-figures with 12 points.
On a negative note, Bojan Bogdanovic finished the night with zero points of 0-of-7 shooting -- making that 0 for his last 11. With Boganovic, Brook Lopez also struggled. He scored six points on 3-of-8 shooting and looked agitated the entire way. This comes one night after he scored his season-high of 26 points.
Lionel Hollins declined to speculate on when his struggling team --1-6 over last seven-- would get on track.
“I wish I knew that, so then I wouldn’t be so stressed,” Hollins said. “Nobody knows. … We just keep battling, and that’s all you can do. Just go out there and keep preparing, getting better, competing, and hopefully things come together.
“I don’t know what kind of team we are. Obviously we’re not a .500 team right now. I just want us to become a collective team, and I want us to become a team that battles for each other and competes, and we’re moving in that direction.”
Top performers for San Antonio: Tony Parker torched Brooklyn all night, finishing with 22 points and seven assists on 9-of-18 shooting. Kawhi Leonard also had a big night of 21 points and nine rebounds, while Danny Green finished 5-of-7 from three, 8-of-10 overall and scored a total of 21 points.
Stat of the night: Aside from Mirza Teletovic and Deron Williams, the rest of the Nets combined for just 33 points on 18-of-56 (30%) shooting. Joe Johnson was the only Net in double figures.
Injury report: Kevin Garnett, Tiago Splitter, Patty Mills, Matt Bonner and Cory Joseph.
Quarter by quarter summary:
Any time you're up against the San Antonio Spurs, you better be ready to play your absolute best basketball, especially on the road. The Nets have heard this before; For 11 years actually, being that the Nets haven't beaten the Spurs on the road since 2003.
The trend continued early:
Offensively speaking, it wasn't the ideal start for the Nets. They shot the ball at 35%, while committing four turnovers and allowing the Spurs to shoot 53% from the field. One of the few bright spots for Brooklyn was Mirza Teletovic, who started for Kevin Garnett. Teletovic scored eight points on 3-of-6 shooting. He also played all 12 minutes of the first quarter, evidently showing Lionel Hollins' trust in the Bosnian sharp-shooter.
The Spurs led the Nets, 25-18.
The second quarter was mirror-like to the first quarter, with the Spurs outscoring the Nets 26-18, just one up from 25-18 in the first. The score tells all in terms of the Nets and their lack of offensive production, excluding Deron Williams. The Nets point guard scored 10 points in the second quarter, while scoring 12 on the half on 5-of-9 shooting. He led all Nets scorers. Aside from Teletovic, who usually comes off the bench, the rest of the Nets' starters were ice cold. Joe Johnson was 1-of-5, Bojan Bogdanovic was 0-0f-3 and Brook Lopez was 3-of-8 and noticeably agitated.
Tony Parker led the way for San Antonio, scoring 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Kawhi Leonard was right behind him with 13 points. The Spurs shot 51% compared to the Nets' 34%, while both teams struggled to hit the three.
The score at the half: Spurs 51, Nets 36.
Just two minutes into the second half, the scariest of all scary moments occurred for the Nets. Deron Williams was down, holding his leg. It was unclear what it was at first, but it turned out to be a knee-to-knee with Tony Parker. He reluctantly returned two minutes later.
In the midst of this, Mirza Teletovic was turning the game around. All on his own, Teletovic went on an 8-0 run for Brooklyn, swinging all of the momentum and bringing Brooklyn back within single digits. He finished the quarter having scored 13 points in the quarter alone -- 22 and eight rebounds -- altogether, thus being the highest amount of points and rebounds he's had on the season. Let me remind you that this is his first start of the season.
However, this wasn't enough for Brooklyn. While Mirza seemed to have brought his 'A-game', very others on the Nets did as well. They scored 28 points in the quarter, but allowed San Antonio to score 28 as well. Other than Teletovic and Williams, the Nets were 10-of-40 (25%) from the field.
The Spurs led, 79-64 heading into the fourth quarter.
Every time the Nets creeped close into the game, the Spurs would answer with a mini run of their own. The Nets got as close as eight in the quarter following a three from Deron Williams, but the Spurs answered with a 7-0 run and built their lead up to 15 with 3:29 remaining.
Final score: Spurs 99, Nets 87.
The Nets next matchup will be against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.
For more on the San Antonio Spurs, check them out at Pounding The Rock.
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- 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Spurs - NetsDaily
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- Nets Fall To Spurs, Because Duh (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Brook Lopez's Minutes, Spurs Efficiency, D-Will Back? Fast 5: Nets-Spurs - Anthony Pignatti - The Brooklyn Game
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