The Spurs looked like a ragged team in the first half tonight as they took on the Brooklyn Nets, but the second half was a thing of beauty as they pulled ahead with a 34-17 third quarter. The fourth quarter got to see the first appearance by fan favorite Boban Marjanovic, who thrilled the crowd with some great plays in garbage time.
In the first game in the newly remodeled AT&T center, fans were treated to a less than optimal display of Spurs basketball in the first half, as the good guys started strong but weren't in sync. The guys looked like they were learning a new offense and the spacing was off and the shooting was terrible. Kawhi Leonard bricked a succession of makable shots. There were some good signs, though. LaMarcus Aldridge was able to contribute some on offense by being more aggressive and he had 11 rebounds in the game. Jarret Jack continued in his role as a Spur killer, seemingly hitting every shot he looked at.
The second half started with a great run by Tony Parker. He showed fresh legs as he scored the first 8 points of the half for the Spurs, generating open space for himself on drives to the basket. He's taken a lot of criticism recently (from me, actually) but he was great tonight.
The Spurs started the second half down by 5 but outscored the Nets 34-17 and had a 12 point lead going into the fourth as Kawhi Leonard got his shot going and Manu finished the quarter with a buzzer beater three. In the fourth, the deep bench players got into the game, culminating with the entry of Boban Marjanovic at 4:34 left in the game. He immediately began to dominate the game with his size and activity level. He doesn't look fluid, but he knows how to use his size to get over players who can only jump at the ball as he holds it out of their reach.
The Spurs big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili tied the Celtics trio of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish with 540 wins tonight and can pass them with a win Sunday against the Celtics. Seems appropriate.
Next game is Sunday in Boston against the Celtics at 2:30 CST (Fall back, remember). It will be broadcast on FSSW in the San Antonio market. See you there.