Notebook: Spurs 104, Nets 73



Posted Dec 31, 2012 10:36 PM

By Tim Price, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Tony Parker scored 20 points in 25 minutes and the Spurs blew open a close game in the third quarter of a 104-73 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday at AT&T Center.

The Spurs (25-8) have won a season-best six straight. They outscored the Nets 30-5 in the third quarter to go ahead by 33 heading into the fourth.

It's the first loss for the Nets (16-15) in the three games since Avery Johnson was fired and former Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo took over as coach. Deron Williams struggled (eight points, one assist), and Gerald Wallace missed the game with a left knee bruise.

QUOTABLE: "We played great defense in the third quarter. Defense has been great the last two games. We're on the right track."

-- Tony Parker

THE STAT: The Nets shot 2-for-20 in the third quarter compared to the Spurs' 13-for-19.

TURNING POINT: Despite the Spurs outshooting Brooklyn 65 percent to 49 in the first half and outscoring the Nets by 20 in the paint, San Antonio led by only eight at halftime. But the lack of efficient offense from Brooklyn showed up in the third quarter, even though Williams played all 12 minutes. In addition to the 18 missed shots, the Nets turned the ball over seven times and were outscored 16-2 in the paint. The eight-point Spurs lead turned into 33 heading into the fourth. The five points scored by the Nets is easily their worst in a quarter this season (10 was the previous low), and it was the lowest any team has scored in a third quarter against the Spurs in the history of the franchise.

QUOTABLE II: "We're out of whack as a group. Even on bad nights, I don't play like this. It doesn't even feel like it's me out there on the court. Tonight was just another night I didn't help. I said [at the beginning of the season] we had a great team on paper. I said it would take some time for us to jell. I didn't think it would take this long."

-- Deron Williams

HOT: Each of the Spurs starters shot more than 50 percent tonight and were a collective 26-for-38 (68 percent) from the floor.

NOT: Williams shot 3-for-11 for the Nets tonight and is shooting 35 percent the last two games. Strangely, two of the shots he made came in the team's collapse during the third quarter.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Parker's 20 is his third-straight with that much or more, and he is averaging 24 points in those games.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Corey Robinson, son of former Spurs center David Robinson, was recognized at halftime for being named to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl high school football all-star game next week. Robinson, a 6-4 receiver, has committed to play next season at Notre Dame.

GOOD MOVE: The Spurs have shot almost 23 3-pointers per game this season. But rather than keep hoisting shots from the outside, the Spurs tossed the ball into Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter and kept the 3-point shot in their pocket against the Nets. Duncan responded with a 7-for-12 night from the floor and Splitter was 5-for-7. San Antonio took 14 3s, just one more than the season low.

BAD MOVE: The Nets failed to follow the Spurs' example on offense. Their average shot attempt in the third quarter was from 13 feet, while San Antonio's average shot came from just inside 10. Ultimately, San Antonio outscored Brooklyn 56-32 in the paint.

ROOKIE WATCH: Nando De Colo continues to get increased minutes with Gary Neal sidelined (right calf strain) and the fact that the Spurs have been blowing out opponents lately (nearly a 21-point victory margin in this winning streak). He had 11 points from 4-for-7 shooting in 22 minutes. That beat the Nets' rookies (Tyshawn Taylor, Mirza Teletovic and Tornike Shengelia), who combined for 2-for-7 shooting and four points in 26 minutes.

NOTABLE: During this six-game winning streak, the Spurs have won by 20 or more points in four of the last five games. Besides a six-point win over Houston, the average margin of victory in the last five games is 28 points. ... Reggie Evans had a nine-rebound night, but he could not win a jump ball against Parker in the third quarter.

UP NEXT: For the Nets, Wednesday @ Oklahoma City, Friday @ Washington, Saturday vs. Sacramento. For the Spurs, Wednesday @ Milwaukee, Thursday @ New York, Saturday vs. Philadelphia.