The number three was the theme of the night for Brooklyn: three straight losses; third-quarter meltdown; Patty Mills’ 7-of-8 performance from three.
In what was a competitive game for the first two quarters, a third quarter where the Nets were out-scored 25-18 ultimately put Brooklyn in too deep a hole as they lost to the San Antonio Spurs 100-95 Wednesday night.
After falling behind by as many as 17 points, Brooklyn came to within three points of the lead in the fourth quarter powered by Joe Harris’ 18 points on the night. Spencer Dinwiddie went into attack mode and recorded a career-high 13 assists on the night, even though his shot was not falling.
Players like LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 14 points in the third quarter and 34 for the game, helped keep San Antonio’s edge.
Brooklyn’s bench heated up in the fourth quarter but was cold to start the game as it dwindled an eight-point lead the starters built. The Nets brought more physicality, driving to the paint and making four-of-five shots from distance for an 11-2 run in the first quarter.
As the game went on, though, some of Brooklyn’s struggles from three returned. The Nets finished the game with 13-of-36 (36.1 percent) shooting from three, with players such as Caris LeVert (who went 2-of-7 from three) struggling.
Brooklyn’s big shot to break through came with two minutes to go and the Nets down 91-88. The teams took turns missing shots in crucial possessions. A Joe Harris three that would have tied the game was off the mark, and Aldridge drew an and-one on the next play to bring the Spurs up five with 53.2 to go. Even though the Nets crept closer following that play, that was the biggest opportunity.
The Nets ended up out-scoring the Spurs 31-24 in the fourth quarter, but they could not come up with the big shot to tie the game. Aldridge was another big who gave the Nets troubles, and Brooklyn could not snag a win from a Spurs team that struggles on the road (if you can call holding the No. 3 spot in the west struggling).
A lot of tough play against some tough teams as of late. Even though this was a loss, the Nets can feel good about how they played.
D’Angelo Russell watch continues…
18 PTS, 7-13 FG, 4-9 3FG, 1 REB, 1 STL, 32 MIN
Joe Harris was draining his threes to get the Nets back into the game in the fourth quarter. His spark off the bench was much-needed for Brooklyn after the third-quarter lapse. If only he made the three-pointer to tie the game with a minute to go.
20 PTS, 7-12 FG, 4-6 3FG, 2-3 FT, 8 REB, 3 AST, 1 TOV, 31 MIN
A dominant game from Allen Crabbe who did a bit of everything and fueled the Nets with his 20 points. It’s good to see him get his shots going and be active on the boards. This is needed more often, and more importantly when others are contributing with him.
9 PTS, 3-13 FG, 0-5 3FG, 1 REB, 12 AST, 1 TOV, 2 BLK, 35 MIN
He could not score at-will, but Dinwiddie recorded a career-high 13 assists to fuel his teammates. Dinwiddie is the first Net to record 13 assists to zero turnovers since Jason Kidd on Jan. 4, 2004, according to Nets PR.
While he became aggressive on offense in the fourth quarter, the Nets are missing his offensive contributions and three-point shot. He’s put it all together before, the Nets just need him to do it again sooner rather than later.
11 PTS, 3-9 FG, 2-3 3FG, 3-4 FT, 10 REB, 1 AST, 2 TOV, 34 MIN
Carroll had another great start to the game, hitting a three-pointer from each corner and grabbing boards. He contributed on the offensive glass once again, but his shot could have been better.
Still, another double-double from the vet. He’s been great since returning to the court from injury.