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San Antonio vs. Brooklyn, Final Score: Short-handed Spurs give up season high, routed by Nets 121-139

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The Spurs’ lack of frontcourt size hurt them immensely on both ends.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets
Few Spurs line-ups had any real answers for the Brooklyn offense tonight
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a game reminiscent of the run-and-gun results of the 1980s, Brooklyn easily took this track meet over San Antonio. The Nets were led by Caris LeVert with a triple-double (27 points, 11 rebound, 10 assists) and Spencer Dinwiddie (19 points and 9 assists). DeMar DeRozan (24 points and 9 assists) Trey Lyles (19 points, 5-7 3-pointers) and Derrick White (19 points and 3 blocks) paced the Spurs in the blowout loss.

Observations

  • The Spurs came out with a four guard lineup surrounding Trey Lyles at center. Is this the shortest starting lineup they have ever produced? After two quarters of 40+ point offense by Brooklyn sandwiched around a 34-point second period, I lost track of the number of successful lobs and alley-oops to the Nets’ big men sometime in the second half.
  • The optics of the Brooklyn court took a little while to get used to. The stark contrast in grey court space and the colorful action going on around it resemble an upgraded 1970s-era television set.
  • San Antonio entered the game with a 72-22 all-time series advantage on the Nets franchise, which is the best mark between any two NBA teams in history.
  • Sequence of the Game: While Dinwiddie thought he would find Jarrett Allen for a lightly-contested dunk or layup, Derrick White flew out of nowhere to block the attempt.
  • Most Entertaining Part of the Game: Sometime late in the third period, a Nets employee carried a large box of french fries from baseline to baseline - increasing the television audience’s desire to have salty, fatty snacks.
  • Lyles continued his improved decision-making off of the initial catch and wound up being the best San Antonio shooter from distance tonight.
  • Keldon Johnson looks like he can create his own offense without much trouble.
  • The question that came to my mind recently: what type of star is Kyrie Irving going to be for the remainder of his career? If the Irving / KD experiment doesn’t work out here in Brooklyn this will now be two straight franchises where a Kyrie-led team did not perform to high expectations.
  • Brooklyn sought out mismatches with Jarrett Allen in the post and Spencer Dinwiddie again had his way in the pick-and-roll game - getting San Antonio in foul trouble early and running out to a dougle-digit lead. Three midrange jumpers were all the Spurs could muster in response due to the unforgiving rims and horrendous transition defense. The poor start did result in early check-ins Keldon Johnson and Drew Eubanks. The Spurs had another potential three-point play go against them after a coach’s challenge - when Patty Mills’ layup was ruled an offensive foul. And of course Brooklyn came down the other way and nailed a three. Only Mills’ scoring prevented the period from ending in a complete disaster and San Antonio was fortunate to be only down 19.
  • The Nets rendered the Spurs defense moot in the second period. In a sequence characterizing how futile the offense looked, an open Murray on the baseline passed up an open three to find an even more open Bryn Forbes on the wing - who shot it several feet short. Former Baylor player Taurean Prince looked Herculean on offense and tallied 13 points. A 16-4 run by San Antonio was a welcomed salve to the 33-point deficit. Zero Spurs scored in double digits, while Brooklyn held a 75-54 advantage at the break.
  • Lyles’ fourth three started a brief 5-0 run for San Antonio. After the initial Spurs push, Brooklyn resumed its half-court execution by taking full advantage of the differential in athleticism and height. If you’re a fan of offense, both teams put up 30 points each by 23 of the way through the quarter. To add injury to insult, Lonnie Walker IV suffered a calf injury and exited the game. San Antonio went into the final frame down 25.
  • In a glimpse of the future, Luka Samanic made his professional debut to start the final stanza next to White, Quinndary Weatherspoon, Johnson, and Eubanks. Samanic found a cutting Johnson for a nice lay-up, but missed all of his shots. Johnson found a comfort level at the offensive end to the tune of 14 points. San Antonio managed to ‘hold’ Brooklyn to 19 points in the fourth quarter.

For the Nets fan’s perspective, please go to Nets Daily.
The Spurs head to Cleveland to take on Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and the Cavaliers Sunday evening at 6:30 CT.