Shorthanded Spurs run away from Nets

Tony Parker had a double-double in the Spurs' win over the Nets Sunday night. Credit: Getty Images
Tony Parker had a double-double in the Spurs’ win over the Nets Sunday night.
Credit: Getty Images

If there ever was going to be a moment to stop the phrase “Same Old Nets” from being said, it came late in the third quarter when the Nets were down by three and trying to close an ugly stretch on a good note.

It did not quite work out that way. The Nets never recovered from the third quarter in last night’s 111-86 loss to the Spurs, who continue to find ways to beat Brooklyn no matter the personnel on the court.

“It’s all of us,” Brooklyn interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “We let our emotions affect the way we play. It’s not a conscious decision. It’s not like we’re not going to play any more but we don’t fight back through it. Yes, they had a lot to do with it, their execution was excellent, but offensively the push wasn’t there in the second half.”

The Nets were outscored 30-14 in the third quarter and in two games with the Spurs have been outclassed by a margin of 60-19 immediately after halftime. At least on Dec. 31, the Nets could say they lost to Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

Neither player suited up for San Antonio’s 19th victory in 20 games over the Nets and despite not leading for the first 27:51, the Spurs still won going away as Tony Parker totaled 29 points and 11 assists. They held the Nets to 29 points in the second half, using a 10-0 run to take their first lead (63-61) with 8:09 to play on a Tony Parker 19-foot jumper.

The Spurs never let up as they capitalized on the Nets being a step slow on defensive rotations and even slower in developing offense. Even with those issues plaguing them, the Nets still were within striking distance after Brook Lopez’s 16-foot bank shot with 2:50 remaining in the third made it 72-69.

Nobody had a concrete answer for the reoccurring trend of poor third quarters except that solving the problem comes with improving the effort and attitude when adversity strikes.

“I think it is effort character and heart,” forward Gerald Wallace said. “We got to be able to respond. When things go bad we kind of drop our heads and stop pulling together as a team and we go in five different directions on the court and it shows — our offense staggers, the ball sticks on one side and defensively nobody helps nobody. They basically do what they do offensively and the results are what they are.”

“I think it’s completely an attitude thing,” center Brook Lopez said. “You’ve got to be out there with energy and ready to play. I don’t think our team was.”

For a team with as many veterans as the Nets, even if many are new teammates, it continued a disturbing trend that appeared for most of December in the final weeks of former head coach Avery Johnson’s tenure and one that has reappeared recently. The 30-14 third quarter came 11 days after Miami blitzed the Nets, 36-14, in the third en route to a 105-85 rout.

For the rest of the Nets, it seems more mental than anything, even if they have had games where they have fought back.

“I think we have it,” point guard Deron Williams said. “I think we’ve shown it in a lot of games. It’s almost like we have two different teams and we’re guessing which one is going to show up on a particular night.”

In the faint hope of stopping the Spurs, Carlesimo started the fourth with Joe Johnson, Keith Bogans, C.J. Watson, Kris Humphries and Andray Blatche. The unit scored on its first possession but did little else and when Williams returned the deficit was double digits (85-75).

Williams’s return did little to stem the tide as Matt Bonner and Boris Diaw hit open 3-pointers and Parker floated through the lane for an easy hoop. That made it 93-75 and had boos cascading from the crowd.

“We deserve it,” Williams said. “You can’t be mad at that.”

Believe it or not, the Nets actually had a double-digit lead Sunday night. They led 37-25 after Humphries hit a hook shot on the first possession of the second quarter and then settled for a respectable 57-51 lead at halftime.

After taking their largest lead, the Nets were outscored 86-49 the rest of the way, leaving all those associated with the team to search for an answer.

“I have no idea,” Johnson said. “We were playing pretty good basketball up until about five or six minutes left in the third and they went up by 10 at the end of the third. It’s like we never recovered from it.”

Follow Nets beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…