Nets pull away to beat short-handed Spurs, 103-89 - NBC Sports

Nets pull away to beat short-handed Spurs, 103-89
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Brooklyn Nets' Paul Pierce, left, looks to shoot against San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter, right, of Brazil, during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
February 6, 2014, 10:32 pm

NEW YORK (AP) Alan Anderson scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, helping the Brooklyn Nets pull away from the short-handed San Antonio Spurs for a 103-89 victory Thursday night.

Despite playing without Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard, their top four scorers, the Spurs were still within five points early in the fourth quarter before the Nets pulled away for good.

Deron Williams added 16 points and eight assists as Brooklyn ended a six-game losing streak to San Antonio with its first victory since March 29, 2010.

So banged-up that at one point that they had two players on the court wearing facial masks to protect broken noses, the Spurs fell to 2-1 on their nine-game rodeo trip.

The Spurs overcame all their challenges to pull out a 125-118 double-overtime victory at Washington on Wednesday, but didn't have enough to beat an improving Brooklyn team.

Cory Joseph scored 18 for the Spurs, Danny Green had 17 and Patty Mills 16.

Paul Pierce had 12 points for the Nets, who have turned things around since the Spurs outclassed them 112-93 in San Antonio on New Year's Eve, leaving Brooklyn at 10-21. They are 12-4 in 2014 and have won two straight since dropping three in a row, all against division leaders.

The Spurs trotted out Green, Marco Belinelli, Tiago Splitter, Joseph and Nando De Colo to start, an unheralded lineup similar to the one Gregg Popovich used when he sent Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Green home before another Thursday night nationally televised game at Miami early last season.

That decision cost the Spurs a $250,000 fine from former Commissioner David Stern, but Popovich didn't have much of a choice who he played this time.

Ginobili (left hamstring) and Leonard (broken bone in right hand) were already out, and Popovich noticed Parker laboring with a back injury during the first half Wednesday. Parker then sat the remainder of the game, and Duncan played a season-high 40 minutes, well more than Popovich prefers to use the 37-year-old forward and essentially mandating a night off Thursday.

Making matters worse, Boris Diaw then was vomiting during the day at the team hotel because of food poisoning and couldn't play. De Colo broke his nose in the first half when he was whacked while trying to defend Andrei Kirilenko, though returned in the second half wearing a mask, as Matt Bonner already was.

The guys that were left raced to a 20-8 lead and were ahead the whole first quarter, settling for a 24-7 advantage. The Nets finally grabbed their first lead late in the second quarter and took a 40-39 lead into halftime when Williams made a jumper with 38 seconds remaining.

With the Nets leading by two late in the third, Anderson converted a three-point play, his first of seven straight Brooklyn points to end the quarter and give the Nets a 75-68 lead. He another three-point play with the Nets ahead by five in the fourth, and his 3-pointer after Kirilenko's basket made it 87-77 and the Nets were comfortably ahead from there.

Notes: The Nets' Joe Johnson and the Belinelli were announced Thursday as competitors in the 3-point contest at All-Star Saturday night. ... The Nets' previous victory over the Spurs' was their 10th in what ended as a 12-70 season, ensuring they wouldn't match Philadelphia's record-low nine victories. Parker and Ginobili also missed that game, and the Nets haven't beaten the Spurs when those two played since Nov. 13, 2002, according to STATS.

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