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.
- 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 2⁄3 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.