The first half was a breeze for the Spurs. They scored efficiently and made it really, really tough on the Nets on the other end. The Nets were held to just 36 points on 33% shooting from the floor for the half while the Spurs dropped 51 with good looks and Tony Parker continuing to play at a high level. It looked like it was going to be an easy victory.
Tim Duncan had a phenomenal first half and was well on his was to a 5x5, but he only saw seven minutes in the second half and finished with 7-10-7-3-4 in his 25 minutes. Big Fun had it going early.
After that outstanding first half, the Nets made a push early in the third to make it a game. They cut their deficit to eight a couple of times before Tony took a rebound coast to coast followed by Danny hitting a triple to open it back up. Boris Diaw did some excellent work in the post against Mirza Teletovic. He scored on back-to-back possessions and then fed Duncan to get the big fella to the line.
In the fourth the Spurs' lineup of Parker, Green, Whi, Daye and Diaw was pretty bad. Not only could they not push the game out of reach, but they allowed the Nets to cut it to 10 with six and a half minutes left on an 11-6 run. That cuased a Pop timeout, but he trotted out the same lineup after talking it over. First possession out of the TO: Tony missing Daye in the corner for a turnover. Manu subbed in for Daye.
Joe Johnson cut it to eight, making it eight straight for the Nets, but Danny Green hit his fifth three of the night . The Manu substitution proved to be the right call. The Argentine was fantastic as the Spurs pushed their lead back out to 15 over the next couple of possessions. Manu pitched in a beautiful drive, an assist and two rebounds in one minute and 33 seconds. The lead returned, the Spurs flowed and they cruised for the last several minutes on their way to their seventh win in eight games.
Stay tuned for Michael Erler's more in-depth recap which will be out soon.
Your Spurs improve to 9-4.
GIF of the Night:
Tim to Kawhi with a dangerous outlet pass. The pass made it and Kawhi finished so all is well.
In their Words:
Tony on "being fresh tonight"
Pop managed our minutes pretty well [against the Wolves] so I agree, we were kind of fresh for this game. I thought we started out well, played great defense and kept our lead the whole way.
Tony on his three-point shooting:
I had a good start against Dallas, and I'm building on that. Before the season I tried to find some motivation and goals with [Chip Engelland]. It was like, let's try to do 50-40-80. I never did that. I've shot over 50% a lot in my career and I was at 37% three-point last year so I barely missed it. So I tried to make that a goal this year. When you win a lot you have to stay motivated. I always want to perfect my shot.
On the ball movement:
It was good tonight. We started last night, last night was great, too. Tonight I thought our focus was really good. It's not easy to get back to the level we were at in the Finals, but we'll try hard and we have a long time before the playoffs start.
The Spurs get three full days off before they take on the Indiana Pacers in San Antonio on Wednesday. That'll be a 7:35 tip. Who knows, maybe Tiago Splitter will make his return.
A little psychedelic soul for your ear holes. Shuggie Otis with "Inspiration Information":