Nets shut down struggling Spurs in 101-85 victory


By BRIAN MAHONEY ,  AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — D’Angelo Russell had 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets forced the San Antonio Spurs into perhaps their worst offensive performance of the season in a 101-85 victory Monday night.

A night after their defense was absent in a loss to the Knicks, the Spurs went across town and couldn’t get their offense going. San Antonio was held to its lowest point total of the season, and the NBA’s leading 3-point shooting team was a season-worst 16.7 percent behind the arc.

San Antonio came in shooting a little better than 40 percent behind the arc.

That sent the Spurs to a third straight loss and a 1-7 finish on their annual road trip when the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo takes over their arena.

Joe Harris and Caris LeVert each added 15 points for the Nets, who made 19 3-pointers.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points for the Spurs.

The Spurs have made 21 consecutive playoff appearances, tied for the second-longest streak in NBA history. But they entered tied with the Clippers for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference, just ahead of ninth-place Sacramento, heading into their final 20 games.

The Spurs had turned to a zone in the second half against the Knicks, and coach Gregg Popovich said it was an effective defense because teams often stopped moving when faced with one. San Antonio went to it in the first quarter Monday, but the Nets move the ball well, with nine assists on their 11 baskets in the period.

San Antonio gave up at least 30 in every quarter Sunday in its 130-118 loss as New York snapped its franchise-worst home losing streak at 18 games. San Antonio then surrendered 28 in the first quarter in Brooklyn, falling behind by eight.

The Spurs tightened up in the second but this time couldn’t get their own offense going, missing all six 3-point attempts in the period and getting outscored 15-4 to end the half as Brooklyn opened a 52-38 advantage.

It grew to 72-51 when Russell hit a deep 3-pointer from just in front of the Spurs bench and the Spurs couldn’t mount a serious comeback and finished the night at 36.5 percent shooting.


Spurs: Rudy Gay had 13 points. … The Spurs’ previous worst was 86 points at Memphis on Jan. 9. … San Antonio had won the last seven meetings.

Nets: The Nets beat the Spurs for the first time since Dec. 3, 2014. Their longest skid against a West team is now seven in a row against Golden State. … St. John’s coach and Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, who is from Brooklyn, was at the game.


It was the start of an important week for the Nets, who host Washington on Wednesday and Charlotte on Friday before a road-heavy March that includes a seven-game trip that will have them away for more than two weeks.

“I think it’s an advantage playing here,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I think we have to make some money, especially knowing what comes after that.”


Spurs: Host Detroit on Wednesday.

Nets: Host Washington on Wednesday.