Playing against a severely shorthanded team, the Brooklyn Nets used a strong second half to defeat the San Antonio Spurs, 103-89, Thursday night in Brooklyn. The Spurs were playing without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard, among others, and were actually leading for most of the first half, but the Nets rode a hot streak from Alan Anderson to the relatively easy victory. Anderson led the team off the bench with 22 points while Deron Williams had 16 and 8 assists. Cory Joseph scored 18 points for San Antonio.
The first half tonight was extremely ugly. Neither team was able to get into a rhythm at all offensively and we saw some pretty awful shots taken by both teams. The Nets played a little bit better in the second quarter and therefore led by a point at halftime. The second half was a different story. The Nets played well out of the gate, and although the Spurs were hanging around for most of the rest of the game, Brooklyn held on for the victory.
This was not a pretty win and was not as easy as Nets fans expected going against a team missing so many players, but the Spurs are still one of the best teams in the league, and beating a Poppovich-coached team is impressive. The Nets are now just 3 games under .500 with 35 games remaining this season.
Player grades and notes:
Kevin Garnett: B-
Garnett made some shots in this game and finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds, but he also missed a couple of easy jump shots and layups that would have just about ended the game midway through the fourth. His defense was good throughout the night, but that should not be surprising seeing that the only legitimate big guy the Spurs had was Tiago Splitter.
Paul Pierce: B+
Pierce had a very efficient game and scored 12 points on just 6 shots. He also had 7 rebounds.
Deron Williams: B-
Deron had an awful first half but turned it around in the second half and finished with a respectable 16 points and 8 assists. He just needs to be able to stay healthy for an entire game. Every game it seems like it is a different injury for him.
Shaun Livingston: B+
Livingston had a much quieter game than he had on Monday, but still finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks. He led the Nets in playing time tonight with 31 minutes. It is important that nobody played too many minutes with another game tomorrow night.
Alan Anderson: A
Anderson had a very quiet first half, but probably had his best half of the season in the second half. He was on fire from everywhere, hitting 3’s and getting 3-point plays. With all the talent on the Nets’ roster, Alan Anderson was the guy who put the game away tonight.
Andray Blatche: B-
Blatche, as he often does, had his good moments, and had his bad moments. He took 2 very bad 3’s, including one in the fourth quarter, and committed some atrocious fouls, but finished the game with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
The Nets will be back on the road tomorrow night when they head to Detroit to face the struggling Pistons. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.