The Brooklyn Nets took care of business at Barclays Center Monday night, beating the San Antonio Spurs 101-85 for their first win over the Spurs since 2014.
For just the third time since the franchise moved to Brooklyn in 2012 and for the first time in more than four years, the Brooklyn Nets beat the slumping San Antonio Spurs on Monday night, opening a three-game homestand with a solid 101-85 victory.
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The Nets (32-30) picked up their first back-to-back wins in a month with the victory. Brooklyn hadn’t won consecutive games since winning six straight games from Jan. 14-25, while beating San Antonio (33-29) for the first time since Dec. 3, 2014, and ending the Spurs’ string of seven straight victories of the series.
The victory allowed the Nets to maintain their 1½-game lead over the seventh-place Detroit Pistons (29-30) in the Eastern Conference playoff race, with the Pistons beating the Indiana Pacers 113-109 on Monday.
The eighth-place Charlotte Hornets (28-32) fell three games in back of Brooklyn after losing at home to the Golden State Warriors, 121-110. The Orlando Magic (28-33) remained ninth in the East and now are just a half-game behind the Hornets.
The Miami Heat (26-32) lost at home to the moribund Phoenix Suns 124-121 and now trail Charlotte by one game.
The Nets took advantage of a tired San Antonio team that was playing the last of eight straight road games and was also on the second game of a road back-to-back after losing to the New York Knicks on Sunday.
San Antonio’s 85 points were the second-fewest allowed in a game by Brooklyn this season, ahead of only the Nets’ 104-82 victory at Phoenix on Nov. 6.
The Spurs shot 36.5 percent overall (35-for-96), the third-best defensive effort of the season by Brooklyn, and hit just 4-of-24 from 3-point range (16.7 percent), matching the worst deep shooting this season against the Nets.
Brooklyn led by 14 points at halftime, 52-38, and had opportunities to have made the lead even larger before intermission, but the Nets shot just 9-for-28 from long range (32.1 percent) in the first half.
San Antonio’s 38 points were the fewest surrendered by the Nets in a first half this season.
The Nets got hot from deep in the third quarter, hitting 7-of-14, and pushed the lead out to 22 points in the quarter before taking an 81-59 edge into the quarter break.
Brooklyn took its largest lead with 8:28 remaining on a D’Angelo Russell 3-pointer to go up 91-68 before the Spurs made it somewhat interesting, closing to within 12 points at 93-81 on DeMar DeRozan‘s pull-up jumper in the lane.
The Nets shot 43.2 percent on the night (35-for-81) and finished 19-for-50 (38 percent) from deep — matching their most attempts from long range this season.
Brooklyn outrebounded San Antonio 51-47, outscored the Spurs on the fast break 16-2 and got 15 points off the Spurs’ 11 turnovers while surrendering only 12 points on 16 giveaways.
San Antonio did outscore the Nets in the paint 40-30 and had a 10-6 edge in second-chance points.
Harris told YES Network’s Michael Grady after the game that the Nets’ plan was to “push the pace” against the tired Spurs.
The Nets now open a stretch of seven straight games against teams that are currently worse than .500 on the season, starting Wednesday when they host the Washington Wizards (24-36), who last played Saturday, losing their fourth straight game in a 119-112 loss at home to Indiana.
Here are three takeaways from Brooklyn’s rare win over San Antonio.