Caris LeVert records first triple-double in dominant victory over Spurs

A+

Final: 03/06/2020

W 139 – 121

Coming off an embarrassing blowout, Friday’s performance by the Nets was a bold wire-to-wire answer. 

After being beaten by 39 points against the Grizzlies on Wednesday, Brooklyn answered with one of its most consistent and balanced outings against the Spurs at home. A lead that grew to as large as 33 points in the first half was maintained at a comfortable distance throughout, and a few scoring records were broken in the process.

Recording the most first-half points ever against a Greg Popovich-coached Spurs was a good place to start. It was clear Brooklyn was in-sync early, going on a 15-0 run and dropping 41 points in the first quarter alone. 

Brooklyn’s dominance stretched inside-out. The team finished 15-36 from three, following its 7-42 performance on Wednesday. To complement that, the team out-rebounded the Spurs 51-38 and held a 62-52 advantage in the paint.

It was a performance that was spurred by Brooklyn’s defense. The Nets held the Spurs to 22 first-quarter points, sparking early momentum. 

Once again, the story of the night was one of the NBA’s hottest players: Caris LeVert. After scoring a career-high 51 points in Brooklyn’s overtime victory over the Celtics on Tuesday, LeVert recorded his first career triple-double on a special night. 

Behind eight players in double digits, and after a 75-point first half, the Nets set a franchise record for most points scored through three quarters (120) following a 45-point frame — along with extending the record by eight. Brooklyn put up its fifth game with 130+ points this season, and the second this week. 

After Wednesday’s poor showing, one change Kenny Atkinson made was bringing Taurean Prince off the bench for the first time this season in exchange for Wilson Chandler. Atkinson said the team needed to make a tweak, and Prince responded well, making an immediate impact and finishing with 13 points. 

Brooklyn’s bench also came up big, carrying the team’s offensive production and finishing with a 58-43 advantage. The team shot an impressive 53.1 percent as a whole. 

The question always hovered — were the Nets going to blow the lead? The Spurs did not struggle scoring-wise, putting up 121 points, but Brooklyn always found an answer to keep a distance. 

The Nets took care of the ball, committing just seven turnovers to 32 assists. It was a welcome sight for a team that has struggled with giveaways recently.

Brooklyn needed to make a statement following a 39-point blowout. Doing so in a convincing manner, and in the presence of Dr. J at Barclays Center, was what the team needed. 

On top of it all, watching LeVert shine made it all the sweeter. 

Caris LeVert

A+

The stats: 27 PTS, 9-16 FG, 3-5 3PT, 6-7 FT, 11 REB, 10 AST, 2 TO, 31 MIN

Have a week, Caris LeVert. 

It has been a stretch of career-firsts for LeVert, and it looked like he was seeing the court better than ever on Friday.

From impressive drives to dishes to Jarrett Allen, LeVert was feeling it yet again. Everything is clicking for the guard just in time for the Nets this season.

Brooklyn needs a player that can change the game instantly as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant remain out, and LeVert is continuing to grow and prove he can be that player. This week has been the epitome of his impact potential. 

Spencer Dinwiddie

A

The stats: 19 PTS, 7-13 FG, 3-7 3PT, 2-7 FT, 9 AST, 1 TO, 26 MIN

Spencer Dinwiddie’s aggression to start the game gave Brooklyn its attack, and he made an immediate statement with a three-pointer. Following his poor performance on Wednesday, he never looked back.

Dinwiddie looked his best in a short while. He made an effort to work downhill off fastbreaks, and that is where he shines most. 

A few more made free throws, and he would have an A+.

Joe Harris

A

The stats: 20 PTS, 9-14 FG, 2-4 3PT, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 26 MIN

Any night where Joe Harris has 20+ points is a good one for the Nets.

Joey Buckets did about as much as one could ask for, making a majority of his contributions early and being a reliable hand. His aggression is something Brooklyn can use more of going forward.

Taurean Prince

B+

The stats: 13 PTS, 5-14 FG, 0-4 3PT, 3-3 FT, 5 REB, 2 AST, 30 MIN

Taurean Prince saw his first start off the bench this season, and he made the most of the opportunity to show his worth.

Atkinson said a tweak needed to be made, but Prince made an immediate impact — boosting the bench’s contributions and keeping up the momentum. He did not record a three-pointer, but he made his mark inside and logged the second-most minutes of the night for the Nets. 

DeAndre Jordan

A-

The stats: 12 PTS, 5-10 FG, 2-4 FT, 10 REB, 1 AST, 23 MIN

A double-double in 13 minutes, his 10th off the bench this season. Another day in the life for DeAndre Jordan. 

Brooklyn had its fair share of lobs completed by both Jordan and Allen on Friday. It is fun to watch, and when done so efficiently, Jordan continues to play his role off the bench to a T. 

News from Around NYC