By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Nets lost to the San Antonio Spurs 104-73 on Monday night, a tough start to a pivotal road trip that will most likely determine if P.J. Carlesimo remains the head coach.
The Spurs dominated the first half in their typically grinding fashion, with a lead that fluctuated between three and 10 points.
Toward the end of the first half, the Nets got into a groove and cut the Spurs’ lead to three at 50-47 when Brook Lopez got a basket. The Spurs regained control with a 5-0 run to open up a 55-47 lead at the half.
That momentum carried into the third quarter, as San Antonio outscored the Nets 30-5 to blow the game open.
The Spurs shot an incredible 58.9 percent for the game, and were led by Tony Parker with 20 points, and Tim Duncan had 15 points.
The Nets were without Gerald Wallace, who has been battling numerous injuries, so Kris Humphries was back in the lineup to little effect. This was expected, as Humphries has been out of the lineup for over a week.
The Nets shot just 37.8 percent from the field, and MarShon Brooks led them in scoring with 16 points. The starters were held in check, especially Deron Williams, who shot just 3-for-11 for 8 points and just one assist. Brook Lopez was dominated by Tim Duncan (who isn’t?), and was held to 11 points and five rebounds.
The Nets travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Wednesday night. The Thunder beat the Nets in Brooklyn, 117-111, on December 4th, as Brooklyn was without Brook Lopez that night. How they fare against Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook this time will show how much progress the team has made.
Over the weekend, Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov and General Manager Billy King expressed confidence in Carlesimo.
On Friday, Prokhorov deflected talk of a search for a coach by saying “P.J.’s our coach.” King did the same in a radio interview on Sunday, and expanded on it by saying he has not reached out to any premier coaches, like Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy, to become the permanent head coach.
How they do Wednesday night will go a long way in deciding the direction of this team.
WATCH this video of Prokhorov, Carlesimo, Joe Johnson, and Gerald Wallace: