2. LeVert’s first-half close out both impressive and welcome
The final numbers from Monday showed that Caris LeVert scored 15 points for the Brooklyn Nets on 5-of-14 shooting in their 101-85 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
But LeVert closed out the first half with 12 points in the second quarter, all of them coming in the final 2:38 of the half after the Spurs had gotten to within four points of the Nets at 40-36.
LeVert’s big finish to the first half included the final 12 points of the half for the Nets, a personal 12-2 run that enabled Brooklyn to take a 52-38 lead into the break.
And he did it the way we’ became accustomed to seeing him do it in the early part of the season before he was sidelined with a foot injury — blowing by defenders and going downhill with a wide array of moves in the paint.
LeVert made only one other shot in the game, but it was a big one, a 3-pointer with 3:24 remaining that pushed Brooklyn’s lead back out to 15 points after the Spurs had gone on a 13-2 run to get to within 93-81.
He made other contributions, as well, getting seven assists and five rebounds, while his length and quickness was a factor in the Nets’ outstanding defensive effort.
LeVert has now played in six games since returning from a 42-game absence and is averaging 10.3 points, 4.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 24.2 minutes per game over that span.
He’s shooting 34.8 percent overall and 29.2 percent from long range.
Saying it again for the people in the back: It will take time for him to get his timing and rhythm back. He missed more than half a season and came back into the heat of a playoff race with a team that went 23-19 while he was sidelined.
But the big burst from LeVert at the end of the first half shows he’s getting closer to being back to his pre-injury level.