Nets’ Jacque Vaughn says Spurs run after Ben Simmons’ fourth foul was ‘big piece’ of loss

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn has been instrumental in keeping the Nets in good spirits this season, both physically and mentally. Since he took over as the acting head coach, Vaughn has been praised by the players for keeping basketball the main thing and for trying to keep the basketball part of as simple as possible.

However, things have not been as simple to figure out since Kevin Durant went out of the lineup with his right MCL sprain. Since that fateful game against the Miami Heat, Vaughn has had to figure out how to generate offense without his best player against some stiff competition. Tuesday’s 106-98 loss to the San Antonio Spurs was even harder to navigate because Vaughn did not have Kyrie Irving in the lineup either as he was a late scratch due to soreness in his right calf.

After battling back from a rough first quarter, the Nets appeared to be in a good groove in the third quarter until Ben Simmons drew his fourth personal foul and had to leave the game with 7:47 left in the period with the game tied at 58-58. From the point until the end of the third quarter, Brooklyn was out-scored by eight points and was unable to recover. Vaughn spoke in his postgame press conference about the important of that stretch in the third quarter with no Simmons:

“We need everybody and that’s a big piece of it. So, we have to be disciplined and smart in how we play the game. And, I think a big piece of that is, we talked about that before the game, the rebounding and the fouling, we have to take care of it. And, it is in multiple fashions. Whether it’s the rebounding piece, whether it’s reaching on a guy who drives, with it’s being not positioned and then, having to react. So, all culprits of it. And, hopefully, guys are starting to understand, like the discipline along the way, it has to be there because you won’t be able to recover from stretches like that. And, so, great challenge for our group.”

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Story originally appeared on Nets Wire