Spurs 111, Nets 86

Jim Hague, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK - Minus his All-Star teammates Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker put on an offensive clinic, scoring 29 points and dishing out 11 assists, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 111-86 come-from-behind victory over the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night at the Barclays Center.
The win enabled the Spurs (40-12) to become the first NBA team to reach the 40-win plateau. The Spurs have won 12 of their last 13 games, after Detroit ended their 11-game win streak Friday night.
The loss was the Nets' fifth straight against the Spurs, and it marked the 31st straight time that the Spurs held the Nets (29-22) under 100 points. San Antonio trailed the Nets by as many as 12 in the second quarter, yet won going away. The Spurs outscored the Nets, 60-29, in the second half.
Besides Parker, the Spurs got 14 points from Danny Green and 13 from Tiago Splitter. Parker did not commit a single turnover in the game. Duncan (sore knee) missed his eighth game out of the last 10, and Ginobili missed his fourth straight with a hamstring issue.
The Nets received 19 points from Joe Johnson, 18 from Brook Lopez and 15 from Deron Williams. However, Johnson only had six and Lopez had four after halftime.
Parker was sensational in the third quarter, when the Spurs broke the game wide open, outscoring the Nets, 30-14. Parker had 10 points and four assists in the third quarter alone.
It marked the second straight time the Spurs destroyed the Nets in the third quarter of a game. In a 104-73 win Dec. 31, the Spurs held the Nets to a franchise-record-low five points in that quarter. It means the Spurs outscored the Nets, 60-19, in the two combined third quarters in the wins.
The Nets came out sizzling in the opening period, with Johnson establishing himself early, scoring eight of his team's first 10 points, and Lopez taking over late, scoring 10 points in the final four minutes. The Nets owned a 35-25 lead after one period, shooting 64 percent from the floor and 80 percent from 3-point range, easily one of their best quarters of the season.
The Nets pushed the lead to 37-25 to start the second quarter, with Kris Humphries nailing a pretty hook shot.
However, the Spurs caught fire midway through the second period, with Parker doing most of the damage. Parker went to the basket with authority for two straight layups, and Kawhi Leonard nailed a long 3-pointer, bringing San Antonio to within 52-49 with 1:43 remaining in the half. Parker had eight points and four assists in the second period.
Johnson scored the Nets' last five points of the half, with a little turnaround in the lane and then a 25-footer at the buzzer, to give the Nets a 57-51 lead at intermission.
Parker led the Spurs at the break with 14 points. He also had five assists. Lopez had 14, Johnson 13 and Williams 10 at intermission.
Splitter made one free throw, then Parker hit a jumper to give the Spurs a 63-61 lead with 8:02 remaining in the third. It was the Spurs' first lead since they scored the first four points of the game.
Parker, who averages 27 points per game in games where Duncan and Ginobili don't play, hit a long jumper with the shot clock winding down, pushing the lead to 65-61.
Parker put on a spinning, whirling offensive show in the third quarter. Parker made a 360-spin for one layup with Gerald Wallace all over him, then followed it with a duck under scoop shot under the outstretched arms of Lopez, pushing the Spurs' lead to 71-65.
Boris Diaw made a driving layup off a feed from Parker to give the Spurs an 81-71 lead going into the fourth quarter, completing a total turnaround after the Nets led once by 12.
NOTES: Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo, who spent five seasons with the Spurs as Gregg Popovich's top assistant, helping San Antonio win three NBA titles, was asked before the game what makes the Spurs so consistently successful. "It's clearly personnel first," Carlesimo said. "Back in the day, they had David (Robinson) and Timmy (Duncan) and then they were able to add people like (Tony) Parker and (Manu) Ginobili. They've been winners for a long time and they put their roster together with winners. Plus Pop is beyond excellent as a coach and his understanding of the game. He definitely has the ability to teach the game and he handles people well."...The Spurs are now 8-6 when both All-Stars Duncan and Ginobili don't play and 32-6 when they do play...The Nets were without Jerry Stackhouse (stiff neck)...Carlesimo was asked why his team had been struggling of late, losing three of five entering the game. "I don't think we're playing with the same enthusiasm as he had early on," he said. "That's a major issue for us. We need to have a little more fun and play with enthusiasm. We also have to find a way to get through our mistakes offensively. We have to get back to putting the ball in the basket."

What to Read Next