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A win is a win: Nets pull away in fourth quarter, beat the Spurs 103-89

Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN - The San Antonio Spurs were without four of the team's leading scorers, including Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, as they lined up against the Brooklyn Nets Thursday night. The Nets, on the other hand, were essentially at full strength, with Joe Johnson, Andray Blatche and Andrei Kirilenko returning to the lineup. Cakewalk, right? No, not really.

Coach Popovich had his team ready to play, as expected, and the Nets never really got comfortable against a shorthanded Spurs team. Brooklyn, however, was able to pull through and beat the Spurs, on a special night for NetsDaily -- our 10th anniversary! -- by the final score of 103-89. Game ball goes to Alan Anderson who scored 22 points for the Nets.

The Spurs got out to a quick start, stretching the Nets defense with their outside shooting. By the first timeout, the Nets had found themselves down 15-6. Deron Williams got off to a brutal start. He was being out-played by the likes of Nando de Colo and Cory Joseph. He missed his first four shot attempts and after just five minutes, Jason Kidd sent him to the bench.

After one, the Nets trailed the Spurs 24-17, with Brooklyn shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor in the quarter.

In the second, there was a bit of a scare as Deron Williams banged knees with Patty Mills and limped off the court, badly. He was immediately taken out of the game.

Brooklyn's bench went on a little run to start the second and cut the lead to two points at the midway mark. Again, they had to do so without Williams who had injured his knee. Williams eventually returned to the lineup, later in the second quarter, but the team found itself back down by seven points.

Williams, however, along with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett helped to spark a run and cut the deficit to one. It took about 22 minutes worth of basketball, but finally the Nets were showing something.

The first half wasn't pretty, but the Nets were somehow able to grab the lead, 40-39.

Brooklyn found its groove in the third quarter, finally. They started off on a 16-9 run and begin to build a little cushion. Williams led the way, taking a more aggressive approach and seemingly finally realizing he was playing against Cory Joseph and not Tony Parker.

San Antonio put in work, though, and held close, trailing by a score of 75-68 after three quarters. This game was far from over, which is amazing considering the spread in talent between the two teams.

Alan Anderson played well, especially in the fourth quarter, scoring five quick points three minutes into the quarter, just when the Nets needed some distance.

In the end, it was Williams, Anderson, Kirilenko and Blatche who helped carry the Nets to a 103-89 victory over the Spurs. It wasn't pretty, but, heck a win is a win.

Next up for the Nets, Friday night in Detroit against the Pistons.

For more on the Spurs, see: Pounding The Rock