Sean Marks introduced a Brooklyn Nets team beyond recognition to his former organization, the San Antonio Spurs.
One word to describe the first encounter: ugly.
The Nets (6-16), who haven’t won in San Antonio since Game 2 of the 2003 NBA Finals, got crushed 130-101 yet again in San Antonio on Saturday night. The Spurs (19-4) are 40-4 against the Nets — an NBA best for winning percentage against any team in the history of the game.
It matches up with how the game went…
Things didn’t look all too convincing for Brooklyn early. They allowed a season-worst 41 points in the first quarter and trailed by 15. San Antonio finished the quarter on a 12-0 run and didn’t look back for the rest of the game.
Luckily, the Nets (somewhat) contained them to just 26 points in the second quarter. The Spurs had a 67-52 lead at half, with Kawhi Leonard dropping 20 of his 30 points in the first half.
San Antonio was 14-0 in games they’ve led by 10+ points prior to Saturday. Brooklyn never got this thing within 15, and to make matters even worse, they trailed by as much as 38 in the second half.
The Spurs outscored the Nets 36-18 in the third quarter. The Nets gave up 103 points through three quarters — a season-high for San Antonio. It was that type of game.
Brook Lopez was an afterthought in the offensive game plan. As the big fella lingered around the 3-point line throughout most of the game, the Nets failed to figure out a strategy to get Lopez the ball closer to the hoop.
Part of the issue is that they lack a true point guard. Isaiah Whitehead hasn’t played bad of late, but he’s starting to show he’s more of a wing than a true point guard. The Nets had 21 assists as Lopez led the team with five.
In order for Lopez and the offense to get cooking, they need somebody to create. This is where they miss Jeremy Lin the most. Fortunately, Lin returned to practice on Friday and traveled with the team.
Lopez finished the night with 14 points on 3-of-7 shooting. Eight of his points came at the free throw line.
Meanwhile, Bojan Bogdanovic continued his stellar play with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Bogdanovic has scored in double figures in seven straight games, averaging over 17 points on 46% shooting during that span.
Kawhi Leonard finished with a line of 30 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and block. Five other Spurs players finished in double figures, as they shot 53 percent from the field and 53 percent from 3-point range. They dished out 38 assists and turned the ball over just 10 times.
“We have a long way to go. Right now to compare us to them is almost absurd,’’ said Kenny Atkinson. “It’s borderline miraculous what they do here, losing one of the best players of all-time [in Tim Duncan], and you look at their record. It’s amazing.”
DINWIDDIE LOGS HIS FIRST MINUTES AS A NET
Spencer Dinwiddie — most recently acquired from the D-League — checked into the game as Brooklyn trailed by 38. Kenny Atkinson mentioned that Dinwiddie was unlikely to see action. However, the blowout turned into an opportunity for the newest Net. His first bucket was a step-back jumper and he finished the night with six points and two steals on 3-of-4 shooting, at least officially. Score keepers incorrectly credited Dinwiddie with Sean Kilpatrick’s bucket.
LEVERT SCORES FIRST POINTS IN STYLE
Caris LeVert scored his first points in the NBA at the 8:07 mark of the second quarter.
The Nets will look for redemption against the Houston Rockets on Monday.