the Brooklyn Nets visited AT&T Center on Tuesday to take on the San Antonio Spurs and lost 106-98. This was the second and final game between the two teams this regular-season and the teams split the series 1-1.
For the Nets, TJ Warren had 19 points and five rebounds off the bench while Seth Curry had 16 points and seven rebounds. Nic Claxton and Cam Thomas had 15 points each.
For the Spurs, Keldon Johnson had 36 points and 11 rebounds while Jeremy Sochan had 16 points and four rebounds. Tre jones had 13 points and Jakob Poeltl had 12.
In a game where Kyrie Irving was a late scratch due to right calf soreness, the Nets had quite the trouble generating good offense. Despite the Spurs having the worst defensive rating in the league, Brooklyn was unable to score on a consistent basis.
Brooklyn got scoring from some unanticipated sources like Thomas, but they did not have an answer for Johnson. Turnovers (21) were an issue as well as it looks like the team doesn’t have much to fall back on without Durant and Irving.
Here are your Nets player grades:
Simmons was aggressive to start this game, but in the second half, that tenacity to score went away. He was more aggressive than he has been in a while, but he looked uncomfortable trying to score and was getting demoralized with each miss. He did a great job rebounding the ball and made some nice passes as well. Simmons was excellent on the defensive end as well. Unfortunately, his scoring of him left a lot to be desired.
Seth Curry: B-
Curry had a rough game shooting the ball. He tried to get going anyway he could, but with his three-point shot not falling, he had a hard time generating offense. He did a decent job on the glass, but he turned the ball over too much for the amount of times that it was in his hands. Curry was getting beat on defense throughout the night and that led to numerous breakdowns within the Brooklyn defense that lead to easy shots for the Spurs.
Joe Harris D
Harris had a rough game all around. Surprisingly, he did not shoot much at all despite being on the floor for a good amount of time and getting some good looks along with some opportunities where he could’ve shot the ball. Harris played okay defense throughout the night as he struggled to keep his man in front of him at times. Harris did pick up a couple of steals because of his instincts and active hands.
Royce O’Neale: D+
O’Neale had a game to forget about against the Spurs. He was unable to get anything going on offense as virtually none of his shots went in. He did a good job on the boards, but his defense left a lot to be desired as he was consistently beaten off the dribble.
Nic Claxton A
After a poor first half in which Claxton dealt with foul trouble for essentially the entire half, he started the second half like his hair was on fire. Claxton did a great job of finishing at the rim and he was all over the glass in this one. Claxton actually had some good passes in this game too and that led to some easy scores for his teammates. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Claxton had another night where he was a monster at protecting the rim.
Markieff Morris: B+
Morris’ value in this game did not come from his scoring as he struggled in that department. However, he did a nice job on the boards as the Nets needed his help in this game. Morris provided some extra value passing the ball and even though his defense was n’t particularly good, his veteran presence and toughness (see scuffle with Jeremy Sochan) helped turn the game around in the second quarter.
TJ Warren A
Warren was awesome scoring the ball in this game off the bench. In a contest where every bucket felt more important than your average NBA game, Warren’s hot hand was more than welcome. He did a good job on the boards and he was okay on defense. The offense looked at its best when Warren had the ball in his hands in the pick-and-roll.
Yuta Watanabe: C-
Watanabe wasn’t able to get much going in this game as he wasn’t able to find his sweet spot on the floor with the offense having to operate differently than normal. For him to get his shots when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving aren’t playing, Watanabe has to make something happen off the dribble and he’s not ready to do that at this point in his career. He did get hit in his leg and had a noticeable limp at first so that he could’ve played a part.
Sumner was great when he came off the bench. He was awesome in scoring the ball as he was able to make an impact on that end from all over the floor. He did a decent job rebounding and he was okay on defense as he played a big part in the Nets’ comeback in the second quarter.
Cam Thomas: B+
Thomas provided a scoring spark off the bench in this one. In one of the stranger developments throughout the year, Thomas has been mostly ineffective whenever Jacque Vaughn has decided to play him. But, there are games like tonight where Thomas’ confidence was high and it led to him fulfilling his scoring role.