June 01, 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.

Bittersweet: Chris Chiozza scored in double figures for the first time in his NBA career last night in the Brooklyn Nets’ loss to the Memphis Grizzlies

What a difference a day makes.

On Tuesday night, the Brooklyn Nets pulled off an upset against the 41-18 Boston Celtics. The Nets, a 7th-seed Eastern Conference team, defeated the Celtics, a 3rd seed Eastern Conference team, 129-120 in overtime behind Caris LeVert’s 51 points, rendering the Celtics’ win-loss record to 41-19.

And, what a difference a day makes. No need to cry for the Celtics, like the Nets, they played a back-to-back last night and defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-106. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets were blown out by the Memphis Grizzlies 118-79. This is the difference between elite NBA teams and the not-so-elite teams, among many things, their ability to bounce back. With the loss to the Grizzlies last night, the Nets fell to 27-34 and the Grizzlies improved to 31-31.

By The Numbers:

Let’s just say, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Brooklyn Nets on every metric that matters:

Field Goals: Grizzlies - 43 percent (43-of-100) versus Nets - 33.3 percent (30-of-90)
Behind the Arc: Grizzlies 45.5 (20-of-44) versus Nets 16.7 percent (7-of-42)
Free Throws: 85.7 (12-of-14) versus 70.6 (12-of-17)

The Memphis Grizzlies even outrebounded the Brooklyn Nets 59-42, as well as, on assists 21-15; steals 8-6, and blocked shots 5-4.

So, what does a head coach say when a team is blown out in this fashion?

Coach Speak: Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson

“These are the type of games where, you know – 40-point losses, believe it or not, happen in this league,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “But I think collectively we didn’t like our compete level and our spirit wasn’t where it needed to be. And we talked about it in the locker room. Coaches and players having a good old-fashioned great communication. Like I always say, these are the moments where you really have to embrace the adversity. We’re obviously disappointed and frustrated that we couldn’t build off of a great win. We’re definitely frustrated with that.”

And, what was the most disappointing aspect of Coach Atkinson’s team’s performance?

“That our energy wasn’t there,” Coach Atkinson continued. “I don’t know if it was mental spirit, whatever that, you know, we’re playing for something. Like I said, we came off of a really good win last night. We didn’t build on that. I didn’t feel that we had our, I keep saying the word, but our spirit in the right place and that’s disappointing. The crowd let us know about it and I think they are 100 percent right. I think that you feel it when it’s not there. So, we have a great group of guys, I think fatigue plays something in a back-to-back. Guys were a little frustrated we got down, we were missing shots, but we didn’t have that fighting spirit that we normally do.”

 

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Brooklyn Nets forward Taurean Prince led Brooklyn with 15 points and added five rebounds in 25 minutes last night against the Memphis Grizzlies, scoring in double figures in six of his last seven games. Caris LeVert, after scoring 51 points the night before, totaled 14 points, four rebounds, and a game-high-tying six assists in 27 minutes; Chris Chiozza scored a career-high 14 points (5-of-8 FG, 2-of-4 3FG, 2-of-2 FT) and three rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench, and; Joe Harris tallied 13 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes against the Grizzlies.

Some reporters were a little concerned that Spencer Dinwiddie hasn’t had a high offensive output as of late, including only scoring four points against the Memphis Grizzlies last night.

“That’s the thing,” said Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “I’ve seen people kind of talk about my offensive output in Boston, I mean I had 14 and four in like 20 minutes. Not bad guys, that’s not bad. Granted – don’t get me wrong – Boston should be all about Caris (LeVert), he had 51 and the crazy comeback win. But the stigma of like ‘Spencer (Dinwiddie) played bad in Boston’ is not quite accurate. Tonight is a totally different story. But you know, played all 61 games we had. I’m sorry. Deeply Nets fans, I’m sorry.”

Memphis Grizzlies Scoring Leaders

For the Memphis Grizzlies, its top two scorers were from its second unit, Josh Jackson and Tyus Jones.

Jackson came off the bench and scored 19 points and two steals in 17 minutes, and Jones recorded 18 points, six assists, and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Among the Grizzlies’ starters, Ja Morant recorded 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in 29 minutes; Kyle Matthews tallied 12 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes, and Dillion Brooks chipped in 12 points in 22 minutes.

While Jonas Valanciunas may have missed being a scoring leader with only nine points, he more than made up for it with a game-high 16 rebounds.

Coach Speak: Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins

“Another great win for our guys back-to-back,” said Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins. “Just really proud of the defensive activity. Didn’t have like we did against Atlanta in that first half, but our guys just turned it on in that third and fourth quarter. We just really clamped down, our ability to get out and scramble. Obviously, the Nets still end up shooting a lot of threes. They were highly contested. Our guys were flying around. Much better job in the second half keeping Brooklyn off of the boards, which allowed us to get out and run. Just great contributions throughout the entire rotation – the starters, but obviously the bench has been huge for us. Two nights in a row, the 3-point shooting, the defensive activity, the rebounding, the steals, the blocks, just the general unselfishness. So very proud of the guys. Great win for us tonight. Just have to keep focus of the daily task at hand – one day at a time.”

Up Next for the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets

The Memphis Grizzlies will travel to Dallas to play the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, March 6, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will remain at home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, to take on the San Antonio Spurs also on Friday, March 6, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.

TIP-INS:

Brooklyn Nets two-way guard, Chris Chiozza, scored in double figures for the first time in his NBA career last night after totaling a then-career-high-tying eight points on Tuesday night in Boston. In his last two contests, Chiozza has averaged 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in 22.5 minutes per game while shooting .615 (8-of-13) from the field, .571 (4-of-7) from 3-point range and 1.000 (2-of-2) from the free-throw line.

Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris made three 3-pointers last night against the Memphis Grizzlies. Harris has now made at least one three in 51 straight games dating back to November 12, 2019, at Utah. Harris’ three-point shooting streak marks the second-longest streak in Nets history behind D’Angelo Russell’s 61-game streak last season.

Harris has also made at least one three in all 30 of Brooklyn’s home games this season.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who should be an NBA All-Star candidate this season, led all scorers with 24 points; Wilson Chandler makes his debut for Brooklyn Nets

In their first meeting since the 2019 NBA First Round Playoffs, the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers squared off at the Barclays Center yesterday evening, and; the Nets recaptured its magic and stopped its two-game losing streak by defeating a Joel Embiid-less 76ers, 109-89. In defeating the Sixers, the Nets improved to 14-12, while the 76ers fell to 20-8 on the season with their loss. Also, the Nets’ 20-point victory over the 76ers marked the team’s largest victory margin of the season, the previous high of 19-points was against the Sacrament Kings on November 22nd. Brooklyn led by as many as 26 points last night, which marked the Nets’ biggest lead in any game this season. The previous biggest lead was 22 points vs. Sacramento on November 22, 2019. Additionally, the Sixers’ 89 points last night marked the fewest allowed by the Nets in a game this season; the previous low was Charlotte’s 91 points on November 20, 2019.

How The Nets Beat the 76ers By the Numbers:

Last night, the Brooklyn Nets spaced Philadelphia 64-54 in points in the paint, posting 40 points in the paint in the first half, which was just two points shy of matching the Nets' largest points in the paint output in any half this season.

The Nets slid past the Sixers in fast break points, overwhelming the 76ers 23-8.

Rebounding? No problem. Brooklyn outrebounded Philadelphia 52-38. The Nets rebounding efforts are off to a good start; entering last night’s game, the Nets ranked fourth in the NBA with 47.9 rebounds per game.

Going into the final quarter, the Nets led the Sixers 83-66, giving the team something to talk about at least for a day. The 66 points marked the fewest points Brooklyn surrendered through three quarters this season, and the Nets’ 17-point advantage marked the Nets' biggest through three quarters this season. Not too shabby.

Taking a step back, Brooklyn also led Philadelphia 57-43 at the half on Sunday night. Philly’s 43 points marked the fewest Brooklyn has allowed in a first half this season, and the 14-point lead marked the Nets' third-largest halftime lead of the season.

All of these metrics were a good sign for the Brooklyn Nets’ ability to bounce back, as the team was coming off of a 110-102 road loss to the Toronto Raptors the night before. Had Joel Embiid been in the lineup for the Philadelphia 76ers, in all likelihood he would have affected the point-spread and the 76ers rebounding count, but the way the Nets played yesterday, in all likelihood, they would have still won this game.

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on Bouncing Back from Losing to the Toronto Raptors The Night Before

“I felt it in our little walkthrough,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I don’t think any of us were very pleased with our performance last night. Sometimes you just feel a tension. I felt like they were ready. One of our best defensive performances since I’ve been here. Collective – first group, second group – they’re a good offensive team, really top 10 in offensive efficiency, so, just excellent, excellent defensive effort.”

Coach Atkinson has been preaching defense to his players since he arrived in Brooklyn. He is a firm believer that good defense wins games and points it out every time his team misses the opportunity to turn up the defensive effort, particularly rebounding.

“Yeah, rebounding was one,” Atkinson said as he continued talking about the intangibles that come with a good defensive effort. “We’ve had problems with this team (Philadelphia) in the past in making them miss and not being able to corral a rebound. I thought rebounding was huge. Our general activity was good. I thought Wilson (Chandler) helped us. He helped by just having that big physical body of his. He guarded Ben (Simmons) in there for a while when TP (Taurean Prince) got in foul trouble. I thought that was a big stretch and (David) Nwaba gave us good minutes again defensively. But DeAndre (Jordan) I thought was really good, especially in the second half. But again, (an) excellent effort. I thought we shared the ball on offense, did a good job.”

Brooklyn Leading Scorers

Spencer Dinwiddie, who should be an NBA All-Star candidate this season, led all scorers with 24 points and a game-high six assists in 30 minutes. Dinwiddie, who has been starting since both Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert have been out with medical issues, is on a roll. Dinwiddie has recorded 20-plus points in four straight games, seven of his last eight games and 13 of his last 15 games (all starts). Dinwiddie has scored 20-plus points 17 times this season after doing so 18 times all of last season.

Joe Harris tallied 16 points (7-of-11 FG, 2-of-4 3FG) in 25 minutes; Garrett Temple recorded 13 points, and four assists in 29 minutes, and; DeAndre Jordan posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

“Every game is different,” Spencer Dinwiddie responded to a reporter’s question regarding what was working defensively and how they can carry it over to their upcoming games. “I think the coaches did a great game plan for Philly. Obviously, their dynamics change when Joel Embiid is not on the floor, so you try to make them take tough twos. You focus in on Tobias (Harris), he’s their primary scorer. Obviously, Ben (Simmons) is a phenomenal playmaker, but you try to get under the screens, make his looks at the rim tough and then Al (Horford) likes to pop and shoot twos, and, you kind of (have to) live with some of those. That was kind of, I guess, the rough game plan.”

Philadelphia 76ers Leading Scorers

For the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons led his squad with 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists; Tobias Harris scored 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists; Josh Richardson contributed 11 points and four rebounds, and Al Horford chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.

Coach Speak: Brett Brown on Key Elements That Hurt the Philadelphia 76ers

“It’s just that the defensive side of things let us down,” responded Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown regarding his team’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets. “I think the statistical facts of what we shot from three and what we shot from the free-throw line shows our starting group had a rough night putting the ball in the hole and the accumulation of a few things equal a long night.”

What’s Next for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets?

The Philadelphia 76ers will return home to host the Miami Heat on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will travel to New Orleans to play the Pelicans on Tuesday, December 17, at 8 p.m. ET, and then on to San Antonio to play the Spurs on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at 8:30 p.m. The Nets will then return home to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to host the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, December 21, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.

TIP-INS

Entering Sunday night’s game, DeAndre Jordan led the NBA in rebounds per game off the bench (9.1 in 19 games as a reserve).

Wilson Chandler made his Nets debut last night and totaled two points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in 19 minutes.

Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot posted a season-high eight points with a season-high five rebounds in a season-high 23 minutes off the bench last night against the 76ers.

 

Brooklyn Nets trade DeMarre Carroll to San Antonio Spurs in a three-team trade

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired the draft rights to guard/forward Nemanja Dangubic from the San Antonio Spurs and the draft rights to forward Aaron White from the Washington Wizards. Brooklyn has traded forward DeMarre Carroll to San Antonio, and Washington has acquired forward Davis Bertans from San Antonio to complete the three-team deal.

Dangubic (6’9, 195) was originally selected with the 54th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by Philadelphia and subsequently had his rights traded to San Antonio. The 26-year-old Serbian native most recently played for Bayern Munich of the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany.

White (6’9, 230) was originally selected with the 49th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by Washington after a four-year collegiate career (2011-15) at the University of Iowa. The 26-year-old Ohio native most recently played for Zalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian League.

Carroll was originally acquired by Brooklyn in a trade with the Toronto Raptors on July 13, 2017. In 140 games (81 starts) in two seasons with the Nets, Carroll averaged 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 27.7 minutes per game. He also appeared in all five of Brooklyn’s postseason games in 2019. In 10 NBA seasons with Memphis (2009-10), Houston (2011), Denver (2011-12), Utah (2012-13), Atlanta (2013-15), Toronto (2015-17) and Brooklyn (2017-19), Carroll holds career averages of 9.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.2 minutes per contest in 554 games (339 starts).

“We would like to thank DeMarre for everything he brought to our team both on and off the court during his two seasons in Brooklyn and wish him and his family nothing but the best moving forward,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks.

With the win, the Nets move back into the No. 6 spot in the NBA Eastern Conference; Spencer Dinwiddie leads all scorers with 19 points

For the first time in a good long while, the atmosphere in the Barclays Center was like the NBA playoffs; it was over-the-top electric, as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Detroit Pistons 103-75. Wowza! With the win, the Nets have won four straight games and got back to the sixth position in the NBA Eastern Conference right behind the Boston Celtics. The Nets improved to 36-33 overall and 21-16 at Barclays Center, while the Pistons fell to 34-32 overall and 13-19 on the road with the loss.

By the Numbers

The Nets held the Pistons to .278 shooting (27-of-97) from the field, which marked a season-low for a Nets' opponent field goal percentage and the third-lowest opponent field goal percentage in franchise history. You would have to go all the way back to November 9, 2004, to a Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers game when the Nets held the Trail Blazers to a .244 field goal percentage, yikes! And, on March 7, 2006, against the Phoenix Suns when the Nets held the Suns to a field goal percentage of .268.

Not only did the Detroit Pistons lose, right now they are a team that holds the dubious distinction of a Nets’ opponent with a season-low 75 points, that has to sting. But that is better than ending the game with 62 points, which is what the Pistons had after three quarters – Nets 88 Pistons 62.

But don’t despair, Detroit, you’re not the only team that the Brooklyn Nets led by 26 after three quarters. Just last week on March 4, the Nets led the Dallas Mavericks by 26 points at the end of the third quarter with a score of 99-73. But wait, there’s more. The Nets held the San Antonio Spurs to the fewest points at the end of the third this season, which was 81-59.

Brooklyn also edged Detroit 54-24 (+30) in points in the paint and 18-5 (+13) in fast break points.

What stuck out most about the Nets for Detroit Pistons head coach Dwyane Casey, was “just the physicality of the game – they came in and whipped us every which way there was. We didn’t fight through screens, we didn’t set screens, any phase of basketball you want to talk about. If we’re serious about making the playoffs, we have to come out and not believe all the hype and all the stuff. We didn’t come out and play. I didn’t coach physical enough or whatever. We didn’t play physical enough. We took a full step back tonight.”

“Everything kind of aligned tonight,” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I thought the game plan was good and the guys executed well, especially defensively. Detroit was coming off a game the night before, and it is late in the season, so we had more juice tonight. I don’t say that to take anything away from our guys.”

“It was another step from all our other games,” Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen explained. “We knew that we had to bring a certain physicality against Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, so we had to turn it up a little bit.”

So how did Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin fare when it was all said and done?

Andre Drummond scored 13 points, 20 rebounds, and three assists for Detroit, while Blake Griffin added 10 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

While the Pistons only had two players to score 10 points or more, the Nets had seven.

Spencer Dinwiddie came off the bench to lead all scorers with 19 points (5-of-11 FG, 7-of-7 FT), Allen Crabbe scored a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and he added four assists; Rodions Kurucs posted 13 points; both Joe Harris and Caris LeVert tallied 12 points, Harris accumulated four rebounds and three assists to his totals, while LeVert who came off the bench and added five rebounds to his points. Both Jarrett Allen and D’Angelo Russell each scored 11 points, Allen added eight rebounds and two blocked shots to his totals, while Russell added seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

What's Next

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the Brooklyn Nets kick off their seven-game road trip with their first stop in Oklahoma City to play the Thunder and their last game on this road trip is against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 28, 2019, before returning home to play the Boston Celtics on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons will travel to Miami to play the Miami Heat, another team struggling to make the playoffs. This match-up will be on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET.

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.

Kris Humphries' start and season-high scoring for Brooklyn Nets become a footnote with the Boston Marathon Bombing in the backdrop 

With the events still emerging from the bombing in Boston during the marathon, it was hard to think that a basketball game which meant nothing to either team still had to be played. With at least three people dead and many more injured, the NBA moved swiftly in canceling the game Tuesday night between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers. Security concerns reached as far as the Barclays Center, as lines entering were longer than usual with everyone being frisked and bags were checked. There were more than the usual number of bomb-sniffing dogs both inside and outside of the arena. If the horrible news was not on the forefront of the players and fans, the news that the Brooklyn Nets actually started Kris Humphries would have been.

After the Nets held a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon, with their playoff spot already established and only one more game left in the regular season (Wednesday home against Detroit), Brooklyn took a page out of the San Antonio Spurs book by sitting their five regular starters against a Washington Wizards team with a record of 29-51. The Wizards took advantage right from the start jumping out to a 17-point lead (30-13) after Brooklyn got within six (13-7). Cartier Martin leading the Wizards with nine first period points. Someone forgot to tell the Nets second string to play defense as they allowed Washington to shoot an eye-opening 70% from the floor including 75% from 3-point land.

Brooklyn made a game of it in the second period closing the gap to six points, as both of their units came to life. After not scoring a single point off the bench in the first period, the Nets bench contributed 13 points while the Washington starters scored only 4. Humphries, who has become the forgotten Net, led all scorers with 11 first-half points as Brooklyn closed the halftime deficit to 56-50.

Behind Andray Blatche and Humphries (season high) scoring 20 points each, the Nets came from behind to defeat the Wizards 106-101 as seven Brooklynites scored in double figures. Rarely used rookies Tornike Shengelia finished with career highs in points (11), rebounds (11), and minutes (25:25) along with Tyshawn Taylor chipping in 14.

Given the events of the day and with the United States having to deal with what appeared to be the first terrorist attack since 9/11/01, the results of the basketball game was pretty much inconsequential. Even if Kris Humphries was in the starting line-up.

WATCH VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan trade; Carmelo Anthony may reach Rockets; Tiger Woods; the Brooklyn Nets split with Jeremy Lin; NY Mets mess

In this episode of What's The 411Sports, Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald are talking about the NFL's lack of leadership; the Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan trade; Carmelo Anthony leaving the Hawks and the Rockets is his predicted landing spot; Tiger Woods had a great comeback at the British Open; the fallout from the Brooklyn Nets trading Jeremy Lin; and the mess that is the NY Mets.with drama coming from Yoenis Cespedes, and the head, foot, and mouth disease contracted by pitcher Noah Syndergaard, which has many people scratching their heads.

San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich sings Becky Hammon’s praises

San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich, also known as the "Truth Teller," will let reporters know when they have asked a stupid question. However, when asked about Becky Hammon, Popovich was more than happy to spill the tea about Rebecca "Becky" Hammon, an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs and the first woman to become a "fulltime" assistant coach in the NBA.

“She’s been fantastic,” Popovich said. “She’s knowledgeable, confident. She’s got a great attitude, she’s got gravitas and everybody respects her right off the bat. She has her part scouting teams, addressing teams, doing what all the other assistants do. She’s for real.”

Now, you know Popovich doesn’t mince any words, so if he says Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon is for real, then she is definitely the real deal. But if you know anything about Beck Hammon’s resume, then you already knew that. And, if you don’t know Hammon, she has a New York City connection in that she played for the New York Liberty (WNBA) from 1999-2006. She later played for the San Antonio Stars from 2007 – 2014, and like most women in the WNBA, she played for a multitude of foreign teams.

On August 5, 2014, Hammon was hired by the Spurs as an assistant coach, becoming the second female assistant coach in NBA history but the first full-time assistant coach. This also makes her the first full-time female assistant coach in any of the four major professional sports in North America. If that wasn’t enough, in summer 2015, Hammon became the first woman to coach an NBA Summer League team and that same summer, she became the first woman coach to win an NBA Summer League championship.

If you are reading between the lines, then you can surmise that at least during the years Hammon played for the San Antonio Stars, the Spurs’ organization could see up-close that Hammon is the real deal.

Crabbe leads Nets with 20 points and career-high-tying eight rebounds; Carroll scores sixth double-double for the Nets, and it’s LeVerts’ 100th NBA game

Last night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs started off fairly well for the Brooklyn Nets, who led the Spurs by as much as eight points in the first quarter. However, quarter by quarter, the Nets’ reversal of fortune started to show in a big way down the stretch with the Spurs leading the Nets by as much as 17 points at 6:56 in the third quarter. Brooklyn battled back to come within four points (85-81) at 5:38 in the fourth quarter and then again at 2:48, but ultimately lost to the Spurs 100-95 in regulation.

This loss to the Spurs extends the Nets losing streak to six-games including five of those losses at home. And, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that a six-game losing streak can begin to wear on a team’s morale. Here’s where good coaching helps. A really good coach can help people to keep their spirits up when the challenge of reaching a goal is difficult and facilitating the feeling that ultimate victory is near. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson told his team that he believes the breakthrough for them is just around the corner.

“I told the guys I do,” Atkinson told the media postgame after speaking with his team. “I feel like we’re getting close. This is San Antonio, Toronto, and Boston, these are elite teams in our league and there are no moral victories.”

Atkinson is right, in competitive sports, there are no moral victories per se. However, the Nets have more wins today than they had this time last year. Also, to lose with five or fewer points to elite teams such as the Spurs, Raptors, and Boston even with these teams’ best players on the floor, Brooklyn should be heartened.

“…I do think they’re encouraged,” Atkinson continued. “We’re improving and getting better. Like on a night like tonight we got better, we improved, we can look at things. How can we get over the hump, how can we execute a little better? Again, I think our mistakes are execution mistakes and are things we can control. And it’s not just a Joe [Harris] missed shot, which was a great look but are things we can clean up.”

Brooklyn proved it can execute better. A week ago the Nets lost to Detroit 114-80. This week, for the divide to be only five points against the San Antonio Spurs, a team that is No. 3 in the Western Conference, shows the Nets were not totally demoralized because last night they executed better. Not enough to win, but close.

Patty Mills’ five threes, those are the ones that stick in your mind..,” Atkinson added. “…I know there were a couple breakdowns on our part, just execution, leaving him. That was not part of the game plan, obviously…”

Speaking of San Antonio guard Patty Mills, he scored 25 points on 7-for-10 shooting off the bench. And, Mills was not the Spurs’ leading scorer that honor goes to forward LaMarcus Aldridge who led all scorers with 34 points, 8 rebounds on 54.2 percent shooting.

“I give credit to the Nets,” San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “They had a tough time making some shots down the stretch, but overall their execution, I thought, was better than ours. Brooklyn’s attack to the rim, finding open people I thought was spectacular. They played very physically. We made a few shots, made some 3’s and took care of the ball pretty well. We came out with a win we’re thrilled about because overall I think Brooklyn did a great job.”

For the Nets, its leading scorers were Allen Crabbe, who recorded a team-high 20 points, a career-high-tying eight rebounds, and three assists in 31 minutes. Joe Harris scored 18 points (7-of-13 FG, 4-of-9 3FG) in 32 minutes off the bench. This game against the Spurs marked Caris LeVert’s 100th game as an NBA player and he added 13 points off the bench with two boards and two assists in 22 minutes. DeMarre Carroll posted 11 points and 10 rebounds, recording his sixth double-double of this season. Although Spencer Dinwiddie did not score points in double-digits, Dinwiddie recorded a career-high 13 assists (with no turnovers), nine points and two steals in 35 minutes for the Nets. Dinwiddie’s 13 assists last night were the most assists in a game for a Net without recording a turnover since Jason Kidd handed out 15 assists with no turnovers on January 8, 2006, at Toronto.

Although the Nets didn’t win, and ultimately, that is why teams play, to win, the stats weren’t all bad. Brooklyn’s bench outscored San Antonio’s reserves 44-34. Entering last night’s game, the Nets’ bench was averaging 44.5 points per game, which ranked second in the league in bench ppg. The Nets also edged San Antonio 42-30 in points in the paint and 13-6 in second-chance points.

Next up, the Brooklyn Nets will host the Miami Heat on Friday, January 19th at the Barclays Center. And, of course, the Nets look to get off of its current losing streak. Perhaps, D’Angelo Russell will make an appearance on Friday, as he has been in full practices with the Long Island Nets.

We can only hope.

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