Rapid Reaction: Spurs 102, Nets 85
February, 14, 2011
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: The San Antonio Spurs showed the New Jersey Nets why they're the best team in the NBA. Despite not playing their best basketball, the Spurs still dominated the Nets, winning 102-85 at the Prudential Center. The Nets (17-39), who shot just 34.8 percent from the field -- their season-low is 31.9 percent on Dec. 3 against the Charlotte Bobcats -- have now lost two in a row. Meanwhile, the Spurs (46-9) improved to 6-2 on their nine-game rodeo road trip, which they’ll close out on Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls.
TURNING POINT: When the Spurs closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run, increasing a six-point lead to 14. San Antonio was only 2-for-9 from beyond the arc before Gary Neal and George Hill sandwiched a pair of Manu Ginobili free throws with a pair of 3-pointers, making it 80-66 going into the final quarter. The Spurs ended up coming out storming in the fourth, dropping in eight of the first 10 points to extend to a 20-point cushion. They led by as many as 23. Ginobili was the high-point man for San Antonio, scoring 22. He was one of six Spurs in double figures. Brook Lopez and Travis Outlaw each finished with 11 points to co-lead the Nets.
STAR OF THE GAME: Tim Duncan. Sometimes it’s easy to forget who the most dominant NBA big man is. Then you watch Duncan drop 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while holding Lopez to 5-for-16 from the field, and all of a sudden you remember. The Nets were outscored 40-28 in the paint and were out-rebounded 50-39.
SIMPLY DOMINANT: The Spurs are now 34-3 when scoring 100-plus points and 38-0 when shooting a higher field goal percentage than their opponent. The NBA's best 3-point shooting team (.395 percent) went 7-for-16 from downtown.
UP NEXT: After falling to the best of the West, the Nets travel to Boston to meet the best of the East. They’ll take on the Celtics (39-14) Wednesday night and then get eight days of rest during the All-Star break.