Nets try to avoid becoming 76ers' first win

November, 25, 2014
Nov 25
5:15
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Coach Lionel Hollins says he doesn’t have to inform his team of the Philadelphia 76ers’ record.

Hollins believes the Nets are well aware of the situation they’re facing Wednesday night in Philly against the 0-14 Sixers.

“They know what it is,” Hollins said. “I don’t have to mention it. Hell, everybody’s got Twitter and people [are] on Facebook and the news.

“It’s not a big deal. Not having a win doesn’t mean that they can’t beat you. They just haven’t beaten anybody yet.”

The Nets (5-8) want to avoid becoming the first win of the season for lowly Philadelphia. If Brooklyn can extend the Sixers’ misery, Philadelphia would be one step closer to the Nets’ record for worst start in NBA history when the team opened the 2009-10 season at 0-18.

“All those records in the record books, nobody that’s playing now was on that New Jersey team,” Hollins said when asked about the Nets’ record.

When Hollins was told that Brook Lopez was on that record-setting Nets team, the first-year Brooklyn coach could only laugh at his honest oversight.

“Brook was? Oh!” Hollins said. “You know, you just go out and play and try to be as good as you can be and try to compete every night and not worry about what the other team’s record is.”

The Nets hit Philadelphia with plenty of their own concerns. They’ve have won just once in their last seven tries and a loss to the Sixers would certainly be the low point of a slow start.

The Nets are still adjusting to having to learn a new system and coach, some players have yet to find a rhythm and Lopez, who did not talk to reporters on Tuesday, has struggled returning from foot surgery while seeing his fourth-quarter minutes fluctuate.

Meanwhile, Hollins said he also has to adjust to his new team as he learns about his roster with each game.

“Oh, a lot,” Hollins said when asked how much he has had to adjust to his new team. “A lot. I mean, I can't play the way I would totally like to play because that's not the personality of this team. But also, after these first 13 games, I've learned a lot about the individuals.

“I've learned a lot about the team as a group. And so I've kind of changed even what I started out with, with this group, system-wise, because it seems like we need something a little different.”

Hollins would not elaborate on what he’s altered in his system. The Nets are still a work in progress, but they know what they have to do on Wednesday -- take the air and hope out of the Sixers right away.

“Yeah, anytime you play a team that’s on a losing streak, searching for a win, those are desperate teams,” point guard Deron Williams said. “They really have nothing to lose, so they’re a dangerous team.

"We have to impose our will early.”

Joe Johnson hopes the Nets know what kind of effort it will take to avoid becoming the Sixers’ first bright spot of their season.

“If they come out and lose tomorrow, it is nothing to them,” Johnson said. “They are going to play hard, we get that.”

“We just can’t take it for granted, can’t take those guys lightly,” Johnson added. “And it is going to take every man for us to get this win tomorrow.”

Staying home: Markel Brown (hip pointer) and Andrei Kirilenko (personal) did not make the trip to Philadelphia.

KG's top three trash talkers has one surprise

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
7:20
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When it comes to trash-talking, Kevin Garnett has a reputation for being one of the best.

So when Garnett lists the top smack talkers he has encountered, you listen and take note. KG was asked who are his top talkers.

"Gary Payton and Michael Jordan, by far," Garnett said.

[+] EnlargeGarnett/Olajuwon
Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty ImagesHakeem Olajuwon's trash talking was a lesser known part of the Hall of Famer's game, says Kevin Garnett. "He was a nightmare some nights, man," Garnett said.
OK, no surprise there as you can see those two talking to each other here. "The Glove" might as well have also been "The Mouth." And MJ could light up defenders and their ears as well.

But then Garnett offered up a third trash-talker -– one you might not have suspected.

"And, believe it or not," Garnett said, "Hakeem Olajuwon."

"The Dream" talking smack?

"Yeah, man," Garnett replied. "And he played with a mouthpiece."

And you could still understand him?

"I definitely could hear it, articulate it, understand it, comprehend it," Garnett said. "Yeah. Hell yeah."

"He was a nightmare some nights, man," Garnett later added.

Something tells us David Robinson probably agrees with KG.

"Look," Garnett said when asked to elaborate on his choices. "Jordan was a great trash-talker. All three. I thought Gary Payton controlled the game with his trash-talking because he talked to the refs, talks to the fans.

"He was similar to Charles Barkley, but under control a little more," Garnett added. "I don't think, not as public. I don't think -- you know, Charles was a little [forward] at times, and [it] kind of carried him off the floor. Thought GP did a great job of just controlling the game with his trash-talking."

And what about KG's own trash-talking skills?

"Me?" Garnett asked. "You just hear stories about me talking trash. You never have living [proof] that I talk trash."

Hollins: Lopez has to be more than scorer

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
6:43
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Lionel Hollins knows what he wants to see from Brook Lopez.

The Brooklyn Nets coach got to the point when asked what he has seen from Lopez this season.

"The same Brook," Hollins replied after practice. "He can score. He needs to be better defensively, he needs to be better rebounding, he needs to be better passing the ball to his teammates."

[+] EnlargeBrook Lopez
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY SportsThe scoring is there for Brook Lopez, but coach Lionel Hollins wants his center to improve on his defense, rebounding and passing.
Coming back from foot surgery, Lopez has had difficulty getting into a flow. His minutes also have fluctuated in the fourth quarter. So far, Lopez has played four minutes or less during the fourth quarters of six of the 11 games he has played this season.

Lopez did not play during the fourth quarter of the Nets' 99-87 loss in San Antonio last Saturday. It was the second time this season Lopez hasn't played in the fourth quarter when available, the first being a 104-96 win over the Orlando Magic on Nov. 9.

He also played only 1:58 during the fourth quarter of a 95-83 loss to the Miami Heat at home on Nov. 17.

Lopez said he hasn't talked to Hollins about his most recent fourth-quarter inactivity. But Lopez knows Hollins has made it clear he will go with the lineup he believes is best for each game down the stretch.

"It's typical, it's the usual from game to game. There's different lineups depending on who we play," Lopez said. "So I think it is pretty standard at this point."

When asked what he needs to do to be able to play in the fourth, Lopez replied, "I don't know, he is going with the looks he wants. He's the coach and that is how he controls it."

Lopez, who is averaging 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game, said he has plenty of room for improvement.

"I guess it's just more reading the defense," Lopez said on how he can improve his passing. "Seeing who's open, where guys are when you are being doubled, stuff like that."

"Absolutely," Lopez added when asked whether he believes he can still improve. "I'm not playing well right now, I know that. I know that even when I have been at my best, I know there's tons of room for improvement. There's always room for improvement. That's a ridiculous question. Every player in the league can improve."

Hollins said he saw Lopez work on some of the things he is looking for during Monday's practice.

"If you had been able to see practice today, you would've seen some really nice passes," Hollins said. "It's just being aware and trusting that your teammates are going to make plays, and understanding the game better."

Like the rest of the Nets, Kevin Garnett says Lopez needs time to adjust to a new coach yet again.

"Brook obviously has the obligation to learn the system and to be better," Garnett said. "But if you're breaking it down from a basketball standpoint -- I don't know how many of you have played basketball professionally in the NBA and been through seven, eight different systems, [then maybe] you can relate. If not, take it from that standpoint.

"It's just not an easy thing. If you guys had seven different bosses in seven years and each boss has something different, it's no different from this."

Hollins, though, thinks Lopez can still improve despite this being his seventh season.

"There's people that come into this league and their whole life they're only asked to do one thing," Hollins said. "And when you get to this level, it takes a little more to win. I'm trying to ask him to do those things."

Andrei Kirilenko back to Jazz?

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
11:38
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ESPN.com’s Marc Stein provided the latest on the Andrei Kirilenko trade talks Monday:



Brooklyn has had preliminary talks with the Philadelphia 76ers about Kirilenko, who has fallen out of the rotation.

Nets, Spurs a contrast in culture, execution

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
9:00
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Here is Deron Williams, healthy for the first time in years, making an impact at both ends of the floor.

And here are the Brooklyn Nets, on their fourth coach in three seasons, off to yet another slow start, 0-fer against quality opponents, trying to figure out who they are and what kind of team they want to be.

In these parts, it's become a tradition, this sort of identity crisis, an annual ordeal.

That's not the case in San Antonio, site of Brooklyn's latest loss, where stability reigns and continuity is key.

[+] EnlargeDeron Williams
Soobum Im/USA TODAY SportsDeron Williams says the Spurs are a team to envy "because they've had a system, they've had a coach, they've pretty much had the same group of guys for a long time."
Gregg Popovich. R.C. Buford. Tim Duncan. Tony Parker. Manu Ginobili.

It feels like those guys have been there forever.

"It's a team you envy because they've had a system, they've had a coach, they've pretty much had the same group of guys for a long time," Williams told reporters Saturday night after the Nets fell to the Spurs 99-87. "And you can just tell they're comfortable playing with each other. We haven't had that luxury. We're trying to get to that eventually."

In many ways, the Nets have already tried to emulate the Spurs. At one point, their coaching staff consisted of Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo and Mario Elie -- three Popovich disciples. But their tenures did not last long.

Johnson was fired 28 games into his third season and replaced with Carlesimo, who guided the Nets to a 35-19 record only to be let go after the team was bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

In came the best player in franchise history: Jason Kidd. He made it through one season and two playoff rounds, making a failed power play and going through a messy divorce with GM Billy King, who has presided over all these coaching changes (and has a history of changing coaches) before departing for Milwaukee.

Veteran Lionel Hollins is here now, and the hope is that he's here for the long haul.

Popovich became the coach of the Spurs 18 games into the 1996-97 season. San Antonio went 17-47 from there. Their reward: the No. 1 pick in the 1997 NBA draft and Duncan.

Over the next 17 seasons, the Spurs have won five championships and haven't missed the playoffs.

They are the pinnacle of small-market success, a model of consistency, an organization that drafts well and makes wise decisions. International cornerstones Parker and Ginobili were plucked later in the draft. Kawhi Leonard, 23, the 2014 Finals MVP, was acquired on draft night in 2011 in exchange for George Hill, another late draft pick of the Spurs.

The Nets went 12-70 in 2009-10. Brook Lopez, who has never played for another organization and is the longest-tenured player in Brooklyn, was on that roster. Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov officially became majority owner after the season, promising a championship by 2015.

Heck with a rebuild. They were going to be a big-market team playing in the biggest market in the world. The search for stars was on.

Trades by King for Williams, Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce (he also tried to land Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard to no avail) cost first-round draft picks (that were or became) Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Damian Lillard, Shane Larkin and Gorgui Dieng. The Atlanta Hawks have the right to swap first-rounders with the Nets this season (Johnson trade). The Boston Celtics own Brooklyn's unprotected firsts in 2016 and 2018 (Garnett/Pierce trade). They can also swap firsts with the Nets in 2017.

Since moving to Brooklyn in 2012, the Nets have spent $187.6 million on player salaries and $118.6 million on luxury taxes. Add in this season's projections and those numbers rise to $281.6 million and $154.2 million. That's $435.8 million! Only Williams, Johnson, Lopez and Mirza Teletovic have been on the roster over that span. Only Johnson has been a mainstay due to injury or, in the case of Teletovic, inexperience.

The Spurs, on the other hand, do not have a single player on their roster making max money. Parker is their highest-paid player. He will make $12.5 million in 2014-15.

This is the price of relevancy, a regularly sold-out Barclays Center and a 1-2 record in playoff series. Is it better than the alternative? Depends on whom you ask. The Nets lost $144 million in basketball-related business last season, according to Grantland, causing them to curtail their spending (relative only to their past precedent) in 2014-15.

And what does the future hold? What is Brooklyn's plan? The Nets are expected to be armed with a ton of cap space in the summer of 2016, but will that, along with a beautiful new waterfront practice facility, be enough to convince the likes of Kevin Durant to take their max dollars? What is the rest of the roster going to look like? Bojan Bogdanovic and Teletovic seem like attractive pieces. What else?

The Spurs are everything the Nets want to be. They have the ideal culture and cast of characters. Roles are clearly defined. If there is ego in San Antonio, it cannot be seen. Its offense is like poetry in motion, its defense ready and willing to get stops seemingly on every possession.

The Nets remain a work in progress, a cast of highly paid individuals in need of an identity (as well as some rebounding, defense and athleticism). If history is any indication, they will turn things around in 2015.

Then what?

If the Nets really want to be like the Spurs, they have their work cut out for them.

Nets reeling after brutal 1-6 stretch

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
2:18
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Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins wants to see rookie Bojan Bogdanovic attack more.

Bogdanovic did not make a shot on the team’s two-game road trip through Oklahoma City and San Antonio, going 0-for-12 from the field -- including 0-for-6 from 3-point range.

“He’s in a slump,” Hollins told reporters in San Antonio following Saturday night’s 99-87 loss to the Spurs. “He isn’t making shots, and he doesn’t get to the free throw line, he doesn’t get to the basket, so he’s counting on long shots. And when you miss them, you go 0-fer.”

Bogdanovic got to the charity stripe twice against San Antonio. He hasn’t gotten there at all in six of his first 13 games in the NBA, never attempting more than four free throws in a game.

“All I know is you gotta get to the free throw line, you gotta be tougher and you can’t just stand out there and count on making shots all the time,” Hollins said. “Because sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. The guys who still score are the ones that drive and attack the basket and get to the free throw line.”

Bogdanovic ranks third in rookie scoring (9.9 points per game), behind only the first two picks in the 2014 NBA draft, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.

He has gone 21-for-28 on shots from less than 5 feet of the basket, according to NBA.com. He’s also been blocked on six attempts from less than 5 feet. On all other shots, Bogdanovic is 26-for-84 (31 percent).

More Brook points: Saturday night, using statistical evidence, we suggested that the Nets might want to bring Brook Lopez off the bench. A couple of points we missed:

• Only two five-man combinations (minimum 10 games played/100 minutes played) in the entire NBA have been worse than Brooklyn’s starting five:

Orlando Magic: Evan Fournier-Channing Frye-Tobias Harris-Elfrid Payton-Nikola Vucevic (minus-15 net rating).

Los Angeles Lakers: Carlos Boozer-Kobe Bryant-Jordan Hill-Wesley Johnson-Jeremy Lin (minus-22.4 net rating).

The Nets’ starters haven’t been that bad, but they’ve still been unproductive compared to the rest of the league.

• Lopez has just seven assists on 425 touches, according to NBA.com. The Nets would be able to dump the ball into him in the post with the second unit and let him operate against reserve bigs when he’s fresh.

• At the very least, Lopez may want to think about moving in his game. He’s 5-for-17 on shots from 16 to 24 feet.

Average Joe: The YES Network showed a nice graphic after the game which showed Joe Johnson’s splits.

First six games: 19.8 PPG/47.9 FG/13-for-28 3-PT

Last seven games: 13.9 PPG/40.7 FG/6-for-13 3-PT

Asked about Johnson’s 5-for-16 shooting night, Hollins pointed out that the 33-year-old veteran had just logged 52 minutes Wednesday, and it may take him some time to get back.

“It’s part of the game. It comes with what we do,” Johnson said. “I would never use that as an excuse. I just didn’t make shots.”

Johnson attempted only five shots against Oklahoma City. It was odd considering he is a good scorer who likes to get up shots and makes them with solid efficiency.

“It’s nothing that I’m worried about,” Johnson said. “I’m just being patient, just letting the game come to me. If I can make a play for the next guy that’s what I try to do -- especially when I’m in pick-and-rolls. If I get a chance to shoot and score, I will, but if not, I just keep playing.”

Sked unkind: The Nets just wrapped up a 1-6 stretch in which they played seven games in 11 days. They’ll only play once in the next seven days -- at Philadelphia on Wednesday night. This will give them some much-needed rest and practice time as they attempt to come together and figure things out.

The Nets (5-8) still haven’t beaten anyone, going 0-6 against teams with winning records. They face Chicago (Nov. 30), San Antonio (Dec. 3) and Atlanta (Dec. 5) coming up.

If you buy into Brooklyn’s annual “new coach, new system, new players, new identity, it takes time and we don’t figure it out until the new year, so relax” tradition, the Nets have 18 games remaining until Jan. 2, 2015, when they face Orlando. So if they tread water until then, they’ll be OK, right?

Can this really work again?

What's the big idea? Nets should go small

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
12:44
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In the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s game against the defending NBA champion Spurs, something strange happened: The Brooklyn Nets were making plays, having fun, and there appeared to be a little extra pep in their step.

With his bigs struggling mightily, Nets coach Lionel Hollins went small -- employing Mirza Teletovic at center -- and his team made a nice comeback before falling to the Spurs in San Antonio for the 12th straight time, 99-87, at AT&T Center.

“We went small, opened up the court a little bit, started driving on them and making them play and we made some buckets,” Hollins told reporters in San Antonio. “Early on, when we were bigger, we weren’t making any buckets around the bucket, and we weren’t stopping them and we got behind.”

Brook Lopez was the main culprit. In 25 minutes, Lopez went 3-for-8 from the field, scored six points, grabbed four rebounds and was a minus-16. He did not play in the fourth quarter -- again.

After the game, Lopez, in an out-of-character decision, decided to blow off the media, according to reporters in San Antonio.

Recently, he has been down on himself, frustrated that his touch has been off. Clearly, yet unsurprisingly, Lopez has been slow to come back from foot injuries.

The Nets said Lopez would be ready and able to go without restriction, but the production hasn’t been there.

Consider:

• In his last three games, Lopez has 13 turnovers.

• Since Nov. 9, Lopez is averaging 15 points and 4.9 rebounds on 47.6 percent shooting in 29.3 minutes.

• On the season, Lopez ranks seventh-worst among big men (eight or more attempts per game and 10 or more games played) in rim protection (54.3 percent).

• In the fourth quarter, he’s averaging just 1.8 points and 1.2 rebounds in 5.9 minutes.

• And the relationship between the old-school Hollins and laid-back Lopez has frequently been put under a microscope.

“Brook’s a resilient guy,” Deron Williams (24 points, seven assists, five rebounds) told reporters. “I don’t think he’s being bothered right now. He missed all of last year. It’s gonna take somebody that missed all of last year with a foot injury [a while] to kinda get his rhythm, get his feel back, and that’s what’s he’s doing.”

And while Hollins would probably never do this because he has always loved playing big, the Nets should consider bringing Lopez and his max salary off the bench and moving the slick-shooting Teletovic (22 points, 4-for-8 3-point range) into the starting lineup alongside Williams, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett.

What’s the harm?

After all, Brooklyn’s regular starting lineup -- Lopez, Garnett, Johnson, Bogdanovic and Williams -- has produced a negative-5.7 net rating in 125 minutes, scoring 100.4 points per 100 possessions, while surrendering 106.1.

Going small worked for Jason Kidd out of necessity last season after Lopez went down. The Nets started switching on defense and firing up a ton of 3-pointers, which led to them becoming a force on both sides of the ball.

Splitting up Johnson and Lopez would allow Johnson to become the focal point of the first unit and Lopez to anchor the second unit. The Nets would be able to run flex action with Williams at point guard, then go into a slower, plodding style with Lopez coming off the bench.

And Teletovic -- who has taken off since Hollins spoke with him a week ago -- is having the best season of his career, averaging 11.7 points and 5.1 rebounds on 47 percent shooting. He’s playing with confidence, taking the ball to the rim and playing aggressive defense as well.

The Nets are 5-8 and have yet to beat a team with a winning record (0-6).

It’s time to change things up. It’s time to try something new.

Johnson, who made headlines for calling his teammates selfish, is averaging just 13.9 points on 40.7 percent shooting in his last seven games. Bogdanovic failed to make a shot on the roadtrip (0-for-12), prompting Hollins to suggest that he’s not attacking the basket and getting to the free throw stripe enough. And Mason Plumlee is slumping like many sophomores do, prompting Hollins to insert the likes of Jerome Jordan and Cory Jefferson into the rotation.

“I was just trying to give us some life and energy,” Hollins told reporters of his decision to bring in his reserve bigs.

The Nets remain a work in progress, a team of highly-paid players still searching for an identity.

“I don’t know what kind of team we are,” Hollins said.

So when, exactly, are they going to figure it out?

“I wish I knew that, then I wouldn’t be so stressed,” Hollins replied.

Williams admitted he wants the Nets to have what the Spurs have.

“It’s a team you envy because they’ve had a system, they’ve had a coach, they’ve pretty much had the same group of guys for a long time,” Williams said. “And you can just tell they’re comfortable playing with each other. We haven’t had that luxury. We’re trying to get to that eventually.”

Since moving to Brooklyn, the Nets have had four different coaches. They’ve also had two excellent stretches: the second half of 2013 when Williams was healthy and the second half of 2014 after going small.

Williams is healthy again, so they have that going for them.

Why not go small again too?

Parker leads Spurs over Nets 99-87

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
12:06
AM ET
video

SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker had 22 points and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in 99-87 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.

San Antonio led by as many as 18 points in winning its 12th straight regular season home game over Brooklyn.

Deron Williams had 24 points and Mirza Teletovic had 22 for the Nets (5-8), who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green each had 21 points for the defending champion Spurs (8-4).

Tim Duncan had seven points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four blocked shots and three steals in 25 minutes. The Spurs chose to rest Duncan for the remainder of the game after the 38-year-old forward played the first 7 minutes of the second half.

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TIP-INS


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Spurs 99, Nets 87: Duncan over D-Will

November, 22, 2014
Nov 22
10:45
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The Brooklyn Nets couldn’t hang with the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, falling 99-87, Saturday night at AT&T Center. The Nets (5-7) have lost 12 straight regular-season road games in San Antonio. They last won there Jan. 22, 2002.

Brooklyn, 2-21 in its last 23 against San Antonio, is 0-6 this season against teams with winning records. The Nets would cut double-digit deficits to single-digits on a couple occasions. They just could never get over the hump.

Players of the game: Tim Duncan put up seven points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and three steals. Deron Williams posted 24 points, seven assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the Nets. Mirza Teletovic, starting in place of Kevin Garnett (rest), had 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter.

Stats of the game: The Spurs shot 52.6 percent. The Nets shot 37.4 percent.

Bojan Bogdanovic did not make a shot on the roadtrip (0-for-12). Brook Lopez (six points, four rebounds) was very ineffective. The two combined to post a minus-37.

Play of the game: D-Will’s missed 3-pointer turned into a pretty fast-break give-and-go that ended in a Kawhi Leonard dunk from Danny Green in the third quarter.

Up next: The Nets face the tanking Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Kevin Garnett (rest) out tonight

November, 22, 2014
Nov 22
4:06
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Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Garnett has been given a rest day and will not play Saturday night against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of a back-to-back set, the team announced.

This will be the first game that Garnett misses this season. Garnett, 38, is averaging 7.3 points and 8.3 rebounds on 45.7 percent shooting in 23.8 minutes. Options to replace Garnett in the starting lineup include Mirza Teletovic and Mason Plumlee.

Can’t win here: The Nets (5-7) have lost 11 straight games in San Antonio. Their last regular-season victory? Jan. 22, 2002. The Spurs are 20-2 in their last 22 against the Nets. Brooklyn did score a home victory Feb. 6, but San Antonio rested Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard that night.

Fun with numbers: During Friday night’s game, Nets coach Lionel Hollins got upset with center Brook Lopez because he didn’t help quick enough, which allowed Serge Ibaka to finish as the rim. The two argued for a bit, and Hollins replaced Lopez with Jerome Jordan.

I checked out some net rating statistics, and there were a couple of surprises, most notably that the Nets are a better team both offensively and defensively (on a points per 100 possessions basis) with Lopez on the bench.

297 minutes on-court: 103.2 offensive rating/106.2 defensive rating
294 minutes off-court: 106.4 offensive rating/101.4 defensive rating

On the other side of the ledger, look at how valuable Teletovic has been.

286 minutes on-court: 105.8 offensive rating/97.4 defensive rating
305 minutes off-court: 103.8 offensive rating/109.9 defensive rating

Nets show fighting spirit in snapping streak

November, 22, 2014
Nov 22
12:07
AM ET
The Brooklyn Nets nearly lost Friday night to an Oklahoma City Thunder team that is still without the services of superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook due to injury.

The Nets had 19 turnovers and were outscored by 15 in second-chance points.

But Reggie Jackson missed an open 3-pointer at the buzzer, and Brooklyn was able to snap its five-game losing streak with a 94-92 victory over depleted Oklahoma City at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“I just think we showed some fight,” Jarrett Jack, who scored 23 of the Nets’ bench’s 46 points, told the YES Network after the game. “Coming off a triple-overtime game, everybody was a little bit fatigued, a little bit exhausted from putting all that effort out there, and then coming up with a loss. But we were able to come out here, bounce back and fight hard.

“It wasn’t pretty, but in April when you’re looking back at all the W’s, they all look the same.”

Deron Williams (17 points), Brook Lopez (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Joe Johnson (eight points, 2-for-5 shooting) had four turnovers each.

Fortunately, Williams picked up his game in the fourth quarter, scoring six points and wowing the crowd with some nifty dribbling as the Nets completed their comeback. They trailed by as many as 10 late in the third.

Despite having an up-and-down performance, Lopez finished with his first double-double since Game 5 of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs.

Johnson, who sported tape on his left wrist, was ineffective. He split a pair of free throws prior to Jackson’s miss.

The trio had logged heavy minutes in their team’s loss to former coach Jason Kidd, so it was important that the reserves were able to pick up the slack.

“I think all of us had the same mindset coming in,” Jack said. “We wanted to end this losing streak, and we didn’t want it to go a day further.

“We didn’t do a good job of taking care of business on that roadtrip out West, nor did we do it when we came back home the other night.

The only way to get better is the next time you have an opportunity, and we wanted to take care of business tonight.”

The Nets shot 27-for-30 from the free throw line, while limiting the Thunder to 6-for-22 shooting in the final period.

Unlike the previous two seasons, don’t expect a road victory in Oklahoma City to turn things around. The Nets (5-7) have yet to beat a team with a winning record (0-5).

They face the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in the second-half of a back-to-back set Saturday night.

Maybe the Spurs, who routed Minnesota on the road Friday night, will even rest their starters.

Still, at least the Nets won for the first time since Johnson called the team selfish about a week-and-a-half ago.

Hey, it’s something to build on ...

Nets hold on to beat Thunder 94-92

November, 21, 2014
Nov 21
10:53
PM ET
video

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Jarrett Jack scored 23 points off the bench to help the Brooklyn Nets defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 94-92 on Friday night and snap a five-game losing streak.

Reggie Jackson, who led the Thunder with 21 points, missed what would have been a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Thunder lost their fifth straight and have the league's second-longest losing streak.

Joe Johnson scored 17 points, Brook Lopez had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Mirza Teletovic added 13 points for the Nets.

Serge Ibaka had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Anthony Morrow had 11 points and Steven Adams added 10 for the Thunder.

The Thunder, besieged by injuries all season and at times limited to eight active players, finally got some depth. Andre Roberson started after playing limited minutes the previous game and missing the seven games before that with a left foot sprain. Thunder coach Scott Brooks used 10 players in the first half, and Oklahoma City led 53-49 at the break.


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Nets 94, Thunder 92: Losing skid over

November, 21, 2014
Nov 21
10:40
PM ET
The Brooklyn Nets -- to borrow a line their coach, Lionel Hollins, used recently when asked about Brook Lopez’s performance -- probably shouldn’t be pouring themselves any glasses of champagne or anything. But they did snap their five-game losing streak Friday night against the Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder, winning 94-92, at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Nets, who trailed by as many as 10 late in the third, are 5-7. It was ugly. Really ugly. But it’ll work. Reggie Jackson missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Exhale.

Player of the game: Deron Williams carried the Nets in the fourth quarter, throwing in a couple highlight-reel dribbles which led to some pretty baskets during their comeback. Williams had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Stat of the game: Lopez (16 points, 10 rebounds) recorded his first double-double since Game 5 of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs (April 29, 2013 against the Chicago Bulls). Again, he had an up-and-down performance overall. There were defensive lapses and turnovers, too.

Play of the game: Outburst of the game: Jarrett Jack did not use a screen that Lopez set for him. Lopez’s response was a bit surprising, to say the least.

Up next: The Nets get the defending champion San Antonio Spurs Saturday night in the second half of a back-to-back set.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Deron Williams
PTS AST STL MIN
18.5 6.4 1.4 37.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 8.3
AssistsD. Williams 6.4
StealsD. Williams 1.4
BlocksB. Lopez 1.7