August 03, 2020

Caris LeVert leads all scorers with 27 points and scores his first triple-double

Last night, the San Antonio Spurs lost their spurs and therefore, their direction and were never able to steer themselves to be competitive and thus, lost to the Brooklyn Nets 139-120. The Nets’ 139 points were a season-high. With the win, the Brooklyn Nets improved to 28-34 with their wire-to-wire victory, while the Spurs fell to 26-35 on the season.

By The Numbers:

Brooklyn had eight players score in double figures matching a season-high for Nets in double figures and this wasn’t the first time. The most recent was achieved at the Charlotte Hornets on February 22, 2020.

• Field Goals: Nets – 53.1 percent (51-of-96) versus Spurs - 46.7 percent (43-of-92)
• Behind the Arc: Nets 41.7 (15-of-36) versus Spurs 29.4 percent (10-of-34)
• Free Throws: 71 percent (22-of-31) versus 88.9 (24-of-27)

Additionally, the Nets outrebounded the Spurs 52-38 (+14) and edged San Antonio 32-25 (+7) in assists.

The Nets led the Spurs 41-22 at the end of the first quarter

Brooklyn led San Antonio 75-54 at halftime and 75 points marked the most points the Nets have scored in a half in Barclays Center history (since 2012-13).

During the third quarter, the Nets scored 45 points setting a new franchise record for points scored in the third quarter, and 120-95 through three quarters, marking a franchise record through three quarters.

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson

How did Coach Kenny Atkinson compare the Brooklyn Nets’ performance last night against the Spurs versus the Grizzlies on Wednesday night?

“Energy was great,” Coach Atkinson said. “Compete level was great. Togetherness was great. You know how it is, there’s no easy games in this league. Especially the Spurs, Pop (Gregg Popovich), all that, so I give real credit to our guys. It was our energy level, our compete level. Obviously, we rebounded better than our last game. Our spirit was better. It was like the opposite of the other night. I wish I could give you an explanation why that happens.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Caris LeVert, what can you say, he is playing like an NBA all-star! LeVert recorded his first career triple-double against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night with a game-high 27 points, a season-high 11 rebounds, and a season-high 10 assists in 31 minutes. Joe Harris scored 20 points (9-of-14 FG, 2-of-4 3FG) with four rebounds in 26 minutes against the Spurs; Spencer Dinwiddie added 19 points and nine assists in 26 minutes; Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot also scored 19 points, his second-most points scored in a game this season, shooting 5-of-7 from the field, 3-of-5 from distance and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line; DeAndre Jordan recorded his 10th double-double off the bench this season with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes; Chris Chiozza added 13 points (5-of-9 FG, 3-of-5 3FG) with six rebounds, and three assists in 22 minutes; Taurean Prince posted 13 points and five rebounds off the bench, and; Jarrett Allen chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.

San Antonio Spurs Scoring Leaders

DeMar DeRozan scored a team-high 24 points, nine assists, and five rebounds in 31 minutes for the San Antonio Spurs; both Trey Lyles and Derrick White each scored 19 points for the Spurs in 23 and 27 minutes respectively; Rudy Gay posted 15 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes, and; Keldon Johnson dropped 13 points and five rebounds.

What happened to San Antonio’s defense?

Coach Speak: Gregg Popovich, Head Coach, San Antonio Spurs

“It was embarrassing defense, soft,” said Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. “I thought the guys we put in in the fourth quarter played with more physicality and more attitude than anybody else did all night long. Brooklyn took their starters out with five minutes to go and we actually outscored them and kept them to 10 or 12 points. Our starting group was really soft defensively. That’s pretty much been tough most of the year. So, if another team starts and helps us by not making shots then the defense doesn’t look as bad. If they’re scoring like the Nets did tonight – then you see the hole we get into and we get into that hole quite often. But I thought those kids in the fourth quarter did a great job of guarding, keeping people in front of them and playing with some physicality.”

Up Next for the San Antonio Spurs and the Brooklyn Nets

So, what’s next for the San Antonio Spurs?

The Spurs will travel to Cleveland to play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will host the Chicago Bulls at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on also Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. ET.

TIP-INS:

o Caris LeVert is the 27th player in Brooklyn Nets history to register a triple-double and the third player to do so as a Brooklyn Net, joining Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell. He also registered his fourth-career double-double and his second-career points/rebounds double-double on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Caris LeVert reached the 20-point mark for the 13th time this season on Friday, March 6, 2020, and the ninth time in his last 15 games (since the beginning of February). He totaled 20+ points five times in his first 22 games this season.

With the win, D’Angelo Russell leads Nets with 23 points, now in second place on the franchise’s single-season 3FGM list with 172, needs 202 to take first place

The San Antonio Spurs are still in the playoff hunt, but barely. To see a team with the legacy of the Spurs to have a record of 33-27 and lose to the 11-48 New York Knicks 130-118 on Sunday and then turn around and lose to the Brooklyn Nets 101-85 the very next night, clearly, there are underlying issues plaguing this team. One could see the Spurs losing to the Brooklyn Nets on the road, and also on the second game of a back-to-back because the Nets are on an upswing, but the Knicks, a team that is in the NBA basement? Surely, Knicks and Nets fans will take the win.

From the look of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich during a pregame interview, you can visibly see that his 2018 life events of losing his wife, Erin, after a long illness; losing Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors, and Tony Parker to the Charlotte Hornets, have and still are taking a toll. Add to that having to manage new members of the Spurs, there’s a lot going on here even for this military veteran, after all, he is human.

Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert, who is also human and only returned to the Nets lineup just before the NBA All-Star break on February 8, 2019, understands the urgency of now and said the team had their game plan ready for the Spurs and all they needed to do was push play.

“We knew they (San Antonio Spurs) were coming off of a back-to-back and we wanted to jump on them early and that’s what we did, kept up the defense all night and came away with the win,” LeVert told reporters.

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson felt good about his team’s victory, “Just a good win against a very good team. Especially at the end, I felt like we struggled again a little to close the game out and made some mistakes and took our foot off the pedal a little, so that’s a little concerning, but I thought we had to match their physicality. I thought that was key. I thought we did a good job of that, rebounding was good. We were ready for them physically, which was a concern.”

Concerned, yes, but Coach Atkinson still had a lot to like about his team’s performance.

“Yeah, I think against a good offensive team, good shooting team, we did a pretty good job – pretty solid job even on (DeMar) DeRozan,” Atkinson continued. “LaMarcus (Aldridge) got rolling there a little bit, but 85 points against that team, that’s a good job by our guys.”

Even Coach Popovich liked what he saw about the Brooklyn Nets game, As I’ve said before the game, the Brooklyn Nets have done a great job this year. They’re just getting better and better. On the road, 4-for-24 is not going to get it done from the 3-point line. That poor shooting is always going to be a problem. It got us tonight, but I’m actually pleased with the game. I was angry after the game last night (against the New York Knicks). I’m very pleased about this game because we held a good team to 101 points. If we continue to do that we’ll be in good shape.”

“I thought we communicated a lot better tonight and switching back and forth between the man and the zone defense was really good,” Popovich continued. “As I’ve said, if we can hold somebody to 101 points we’ll be in great shape. You have a night, once in a while, where you shoot like this. Coming in, we were one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the league, but tonight it was awful. That happens but that doesn’t bother me. I don’t think about it. I think about the effort we put out last night which wasn’t good. Everybody busted their butts tonight and I feel great. I can sleep.”

The Spurs had three scoring leaders with 10 points or more; LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocked shots; DeMar DeRozan registered 23 points and five rebounds, and; Rudy Gay chipped in 13 points and three rebounds.

The Nets also only had three players in double digits. D’Angelo Russell dropped 23 points (9-of-19 FG, 5-of-11 3FG), a game-high eight assists, and seven rebounds; Caris LeVert and Joe Harris both scored 15 points each. LeVert added seven assists and five rebounds to his scoring total, while Harris added three assists. DeMarre Carroll had a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Brooklyn Nets will face the Washington Wizards tomorrow, Wednesday, February 27, 2019, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m.

Nets blow nine-point lead; DeMarcus Cousins drops 37 points on Nets in win for the Kings

Sean Kilpatrick scored 22 points, Brook Lopez had 17 points; Bojan Bogdanovic added 13 points, and Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 11 points for the Nets, in their loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. In losing 122-105, the Nets have lost seven straight games.

The Nets kept it competitive through the first half; leading the Kings 35-31 at the end of the first quarter and 59-58 at the end of the first half. However, the third quarter arrived and as in games in the recent past, things began to unravel in a way that no one seems to be able to explain.

“I don’t know,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said. “We have to fix the third quarter blues. For some reason, we don’t come out with the requisite and the energy that we need to. We felt that and I think we called a timeout and addressed it, so we need to figure that one out because that’s hurting us. We cut it to six like you said, made a run there with that group and again they made some shots and we turned the ball over a few times.”

That ball movement in the direction of Sacramento translated into starters DeMarcus Cousins scoring 37 points and 11 rebounds; Rudy Gay posting up 22 points and eight rebounds; and Darren Collison adding 18 points; while Ty Lawson chipped in 13 points off the bench.

Most Nets games are generally run of the mill, but it took Sacramento’s Matt Barnes to make a hockey game out of an NBA basketball game by clocking Brooklyn’s Kilpatrick for seemingly no reason. The officials promptly ejected Barnes for a Flagrant Foul 2 on Kilpatrick with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter and Sacramento leading 97-79. Brooklyn then went on a 14-2 run to cut the deficit to 99-93, but Sacramento responded with a 16-0 run of its own to extend the lead to 115-93.

“It was more of a why, why would you do that, but I mean it was still the same mentality. It was the same killer mentality,” Kilpatrick stated regarding the Matt Barnes hit. “You gotta keep continuing to try to destroy anybody that’s in your way and I think that’s something that told me to get up. I mean at the end of the day if were down 10 and I go down like that and were on a roll, I mean that’s not gonna stop me. I mean I gotta get up and keep playing and I think that’s something that triggered me off the way it did. ”

Next up at home for the Brooklyn Nets is a date with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, November 29 at 7:30 p.m., and still no word when Jeremy Lin will return.

The Nets score 65 points in the first half, en route to a shocking season-best win

The Brooklyn Nets don’t enjoy nights like this very often so when they do, you (the fan), have to enjoy it. The Nets matched their season high (38 points in 2nd quarter vs. GS) for most points scored in any quarter this season scoring 38 in the 3rd en route to a shocking 128-119 win over the Sacramento Kings Friday night. After going back-and-forth with the Kings for the majority of the first half, in which they scored 65 points, (first half season-high) the Nets took control of the game and as a result, extended their home winning streak against the Kings to seven games.

To begin the third, Donald Sloan and Thaddeus Young would combine to score the Nets first 12 points of the quarter, increasing what was a narrow four-point 65-61 advantage to a double-digit 77-66 lead. The Nets great start to the third quarter forced a Kings timeout but it didn’t matter. It was their night and the offensive success to finish the third continued with Brook Lopez.

Lopez scored 11 of his 26 points in that third quarter to sustain the Nets double-digit lead where they could have folded and allowed the Kings to get back into the game. The Nets dodged that bullet. There was no slippage.

To end the third, Sloan once again made the Kings pay scoring six straight points, capped off by a three that signaled the Nets 101 point of the night with a little over a minute left to the Kings 79. Along with Sloan, every Nets starter scored in double-digits in addition to Bojan Bogdanovic (23 points) who lit the Kings up from behind the arc draining seven threes but the star of the night was old veteran star, Joe Johnson. The Nets win doesn’t start without him.

He scored 13 points in the first quarter and ended the half with 18. He finished with 27 for the night and also played playmaker recording 11 assists.

“I think his reads, his vision on what’s available is just as good as anybody in the league and you try and out him in situations where he can make those kind of plays,” Nets head coach Tony Brown said referring to Johnson’s big night.

Johnson definitely turned back the clock and for a team that just ended a five-game losing streak with the win, nights like the one Johnson enjoyed as well as Brook, and Sloan is what the Nets will need more of going forward. The Nets won’t shoot 60 percent in the first quarter every game or 52 percent for the half but there’s nothing wrong with a little encouragement. On the opposing bench, things seem to be a little more complicated than not scoring enough points.

DeMarcus Cousins (24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) who will make the trip to Toronto for his second straight All-star selection said that the loss is bigger than energy and effort.

“We gotta bigger issue, and we need to figure it out as a team,” Cousins said post-game. “I rather keep it in house, but we definitely have a bigger issue than just energy and effort. That can't be the excuse every night.”

Cousins doesn’t enjoy the greatest relationship with head coach George Karl so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where that statement is coming from. It also didn’t help that Kings’ wing, Rudy Gay was done for the night after spraining his ankle early in the first either.

Although the Kings are in a better space personnel wise, their situation just might be as tumultuous as the Nets and that isn’t a compliment. The fact is, the Nets won on Friday night and according to Johnson, it felt great.

It feels great to get a win, to see everything kind of clicking on all cylinders,” Johnson said regarding the win. “Everybody was pretty much involved, and it led to a great win.”

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