San Antonio Spurs 104, Brooklyn Nets 73: 30-5
AT&T CENTER — Here is a list of things that happened in the third quarter of the Spurs’ 104-73 win over the Brooklyn Nets:
- The Spurs scored 30 points
- The Nets scored just five
- I fired off three tweets
- Brooklyn committed seven turnovers
- Four players on the Spurs scored at least as many points as the entire Nets team
- Deron Williams scored all five of Brooklyn’s points
- I drank a cup of coffee
- The Nets missed all six of their 3-point attempts
- San Antonio had a 118.5 offensive rating and a 21.3 defensive rating, good for a 97.2 net rating
Games aren’t won in single quarters, but it’s easy to point to the third quarter as the major difference in San Antonio’s win over the Nets. This being New Year’s Eve and all, I’m going with easy.
San Antonio was generally in control of this game in the first half. Outside of giving up six offensive boards to the Nets, the Spurs still led Brooklyn by eight points at halftime and out-shot the Nets 65 percent to 49 percent. The Spurs were in control but it was still a completely undecided game.
Then the third quarter happened.
San Antonio started the period on an 8-0 run. After Williams hit a 18-foot jumper, the Spurs reeled off another 13 unanswered points before Williams made a steal and scored on the other end, drawing a foul as well. Then the Spurs scored another nine points to end the quarter.
“It was an amazing quarter for us. Only allowing five points in a quarter is something that does not happen often,” Manu Ginobili said, stating the obvious.
Besides the other-worldly third quarter, we saw the continuation of a few other trends for the Spurs, some positive and others negative. Manu Ginobili continues to play well. In only 20 minutes tonight, Ginobili hit three-of-four shots for eight points and had five assists. While a big performance wasn’t needed from Manu, he continues to produce when they need him to.
“I’ve been feeling good the past few weeks, it just happened in the last two games I made shots and that makes it more noticeable,” Manu said.
I totally agree with Ginobili there. He’s not the old Manu, or GINO-BLI!, as we remember him. But over the last couple of weeks Manu has been able to get to the rim more often and shown a little explosion, though he’s never been a high flyer. If he can get by his defender and create just a little separation, Ginobili is crafty enough to sneak shots in against the non-elite-shot-blocking big men of the NBA.
We also saw a continuation of Boris Diaw’s aggressiveness from Sunday night’s win over Dallas. Diaw only played 16 minutes, but hit three-of-five shots and grabbed six rebounds. Again Diaw took was decisive in taking shots when open opportunities were presented to him. I have no idea if this is just a flash in the pan, but it’s something to watch going forward.
Now to the negative, or what negative there can be in a 31-point blowout. Defensive rebounding is still a concern. The Spurs had an eight-point lead going into halftime, so the game was still in doubt before the big third quarter. In the first half, San Antonio allowed the Nets to grab six offensive rebounds. Brooklyn grabbed four more in the third quarter.
It didn’t make much of a difference in the final score, but keeping opponents off of the offensive glass has been a problem off and on throughout the season. We expected that the return of Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson from injury would improve the Spurs in that area, but there are still nights like Monday night. The Spurs are giving up 11 offensive rebounds per game since Leonard’s return, not far off the team’s 11.6 offensive rebounds allowed per game on the season.
With teams like the Clippers, Grizzlies and Thunder lurking in the late spring, keeping opponents off the offensive glass is a major concern.
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