D'Angelo Russell
Getty Images

In a matchup between two of the league’s premier coaches, Kenny Atkinson‘s squad, the Brooklyn Nets, fell to the San Antonio Spurs. 

  • Brooklyn Nets 114 (28-25)
  • San Antonio Spurs 117 (31-22)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

On Thursday, the Brooklyn Nets faced a team comprised of mostly foreign athletes, G league alums, second-rounders, and late first-round picks.

Sound familiar, Nets fans?

In all seriousness, Brooklyn played a tough San Antonio Spurs team for their third game in four days.

D’Angelo Russell led the way for the Nets, brushing off his recent possible All-Star snub. D-Lo recorded a strong nine assists. He also put up 25 points on the night, although he didn’t do it in particularly efficient fashion (10-for-26 shooting).

DeMarre Carroll continued his spectacular play, canning 3 three-pointers en route to an 18 point, five rebound night. He has, arguably, been the most consistent force on Brooklyn’s roster during the month of January.

Most impressive was Jarrett Allen, who flashed his immense potential. While his 14 total points don’t scream “breakout performance” in all caps, Allen had some spectacular moves. At one point, Allen caught the ball near the free throw line, dribbled once, did a spin move, and finished at the rim with his off hand. Later in the game, Allen caught the ball on the fast break, jump-stopped, and executed a perfect skyhook.

To top things off, Allen even canned a corner three; a sight for sore eyes.

Perhaps Allen took a glance at my scouting report from earlier this month, but regardless, it was a refreshing sight to see.

In typical Nets fashion, this game was close to the very end. Joe Harris sank two back-to-back three-pointers with two and a half minutes remaining. DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, co-stars of this remodeled Spurs team, countered with a collection of two-point baskets.

Down by four, the Nets were seemingly out of the game. D’Angelo Russell, who had a rough 2-of-7 shooting night from deep, missed a transition three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining. Yet, somehow, the ball was corralled to a wide-open Shabazz Napier, standing in the corner.

In my best Mike Breen voice, “bang!”

Napier canned a three after a side-step dribble move.

Unfortunately, Brooklyn’s luck ran out. After LaMarcus Aldridge hit a pair of free throws on the other end, the Nets inbounded the ball to Napier who took two dribbles and launched a three-pointer.

The ball didn’t even hit the front rim. Questionable contact or not, the shot was downright ugly.

The Nets will get their redemption on Saturday, as they head to Orlando for their third matchup against the Magic in two weeks.

An NBA fanatic who specializes in the advanced analytics of the game. I cover the Brooklyn Nets here in the city. Follow me on Twitter for semi-witty basketball tweets. @MattBrooksNBA