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San Antonio vs. Brooklyn, Final Score: Nets stave off frisky Spurs in riveting overtime contest 121-119

Lonnie Walker IV and Joshua Primo carried the team in crunchtime but it was ultimately not enough to overcome Brooklyn

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets
Davontae Cacok, among a bevy of unheralded Spurs, impressed in his time against the more season Brooklyn line-ups
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

In a rare Sunday morning affair, Brooklyn fended off an undermanned San Antonio squad down six players 121-119 in overtime. After some tepid opening minutes, the teams recovered to provide an entertaining and hyper-competitive 4+ quarters with the Spurs scoring the last 10 points to get it to overtime.

Though their transcendant superstars, with Kevin Durant’s shooting and James Harden’s playmaking, provided Brooklyn the advantage for most of the game, it was rookie Cameron Thomas who connected on a floater to provide the winning bucket.

Durant (28 points, 6 assists, and 3 blocks) was bolstered by Harden (26 points, 12 assists, and 7 rebounds) and Nic Claxton (16 points and 14 rebounds) to help the Nets break a five game losing streak at home and rebound after its blowout loss against Milwaukee on Friday evening.

Lonnie Walker IV (25 points and 4 assists), Dejounte Murray (19 points, 12 assists, and 2 steals), Joshua Primo (12 points), and Jakob Poeltl (11 points and 12 rebounds) paced San Antonio, which received 40+ points from its bench, assisted on 33 of its 46 baskets, and received stalwart performances from Bryn Forbes (18 points and 5 assists), Jock Landale (10 points and 5 assists), and Davontae Cacok (8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks).

Observations

  • I will never get used to hearing Patty Mills being introduced for any other team.
  • All these roster changes make me appreciative for the pure novelty and randomness from game-to-game compared to the sameness and predictability of the Mid-3 years.
  • My very unofficial list of Western Conference guards ahead of Murray in ASG consideration: Stephen Curry (1st in votes), Luka Doncic (2nd in votes), Ja Morant, Devin Booker, and Donovan Mitchell. Pop shared during the pre-game: “He’s really played All-Star caliber basketball. Unfortunately, we haven’t won enough for him to be considered like other guys probably... When he’s not there, we are in trouble.
  • The Nets public announcer sounds like a mix of the Lakers’ Lawrence Tanter and boxing and pop culture’s hype person Michael Buffer.
  • The Nets’ shooting shirts with the New Jersey state outline is still a clean look.
  • After yet another picturesque jumper, Bill Land called Durant “an absolute scoring machine.” #true
  • Brooklyn has its own weird SEGABAGA to deal with - flying cross-country to take on Portland tomorrow night for a COVID make-up game.
  • If someone can properly analyze at how Brooklyn is 10-10 at home and 14-3 on the road, I may send you some Whataburger.
  • I have not seen Davontae Cacok play this season - but he is a LIVE WIRE in the paint.
  • The Patty Mills Experience: in back-to-back possessions, he forced a fadeaway turnaround from Keita Bates-Diop and drew a charge from Bryn Forbes. And then he followed that awesomeness by airballing a three at the other end.
  • Walker IV is making better decisions passing in traffic. He delivered one to Poeltl for a layup to start the second half. He also delivered the game-tying assist in the fourth to Primo to force overtime.
  • I likened Bates-Diop to the second coming of Bruce Bowen when I first saw him, but his drive to the basket, though unspectacular, does the job. He converted two of them in the third impressively.
  • How many of us have day-dreamed of the Nic Claxton types (i.e, hyperathletic 7-footers) as rim-running partners with our guards?
  • Primo’s Play: Joshua drew an offensive foul in the game’s opening minute. He later utilized the “show the refs your hands” defense to draw a critical charge on Harden late in the fourth.
  • Lonnie Walker IV enlivened San Antonio with its first dozen points, including an acrobatic finish in the lane over several defenders. Nic Claxton had open pastures at the rim, while Durant connected from seemingly everywhere else to get Brooklyn the early lead. Murray pestered the Nets’ perimeter players, while poking and prodding at the other end to find offense for himself and others. Cameron Thomas bothered the Spurs’ guards to earn the Nets some fast break opportunities. Primo’s wing three concluded a “Sean Elliott special” with the teams tied at 32.
  • San Antonio’s reserves, guided by Murray, surged ahead to start the second period. However, frigid shooting did both teams in for a good chunk of the frame. Durant and Harden took turns asserting their offensive wills to reclaim the lead. It appeared that every Spurs shot from the right side of floor was off the mark. An and-one by Durant and Claxton alley-oop accentuated a 14-0 Nets run against a funky San Antonio line-up. A desperation heave by Bates-Diop closed out the scoring as they trailed 60-51 going into the break.
  • Brooklyn was content keeping the Spurs at bay for the bulk of the third quarter. At one point, San Antonio drew within eight, but Durant and Claxton wreaked havoc to keep the deficit in double-digits. A four-point by Forbes and a pair of corner threes by Jock Landale made it a two-possession game. A steal and emphatic dunk in transition by Cacok helped the Spurs close within two. Durant, as he had for the entire game, had a 2-point answer. The surprising Spurs left the third down just 89-91.
  • A Cacok floater tied things at 91 to start the final period and also disrupted several Nets transition chances to win back precious possessions for San Antonio. Walker IV displayed more aggression in the paint, while Brooklyn continued to win its battle on the boards. Dayron Sharpe tipped in a miss and was awarded an awkward and-one to push the Nets’ lead out to eight. Poeltl turned back two of Sharpe’s attempts in response. Harden again asserted himself to push the Nets’ advantage back out to 12. A Murray lay-up gave San Antonio a glimmer of hope at 107-113.
  • Primo drew an offensive foul - absorbing a hefty Harden elbow to the face and Walker IV’s wing three chopped the lead in half. Murray disrupted a Brooklyn pick-and-roll and wrested the ensuing miss away, but Bates-Diop travelled with 70 seconds left. A Walker IV kickout to a confident Primo for three tied the game at 113. San Antonio forced a Durant miss and errant Claxton tip, but Poeltl was whistled for an offensive foul at the other end. Yet another Durant miss gave the Spurs an opportunity with 0.8 seconds. Landale and Bates-Diop tried to recreate the game-ending alley-oop play that Orlando used with Dwight Howard to beat the Spurs in 2007.
  • In the extra frame, an unfortunate turnover in transition gifted Durant a lay-up, but Walker IV again found Poeltl in traffic for two. Claxton tipped a Harden miss home and Harden willed home a floater to make it 119-115. Walker IV maneuvered a difficult shot over Durant. Murray forced Harden to fumble the ball out of bounds and converted both free throws with 45 seconds left. Walker IV nabbed a crosscourt pass, but Murray couldn’t convert in transition. Primo flew in to force a jumpball that Harden won. A visibly tired Durant found Thomas out of a double-team for a floater to provide the winning margin. San Antonio was unable to get a shot off in 1.4 seconds

For the Nets fans’ perspective, please visit Nets Daily.

The Spurs hop over one borough to wrap-up its seven game road trip and take on Julius Randle and the New York Knicks in a SEGABAGA tomorrow night at 6:30 PM CT.