|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT23:30 , February 25, 2019
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York Attendance: 13,479
Back home, Nets prepare for weary Spurs
For the next two weeks, the Brooklyn Nets will get plenty of chances to accumulate home wins and strengthen their playoff positioning.
Then one of the toughest schedules in the league kicks in during the final month as the Nets attempt to reach postseason for the first time in four years.
First up is a meeting with the San Antonio Spurs, who are concluding their annual Rodeo Road Trip with a visit to Brooklyn on Monday.
The Nets will play six of their next eight games at Barclays Center, where they are 14-4 in their last 18 games despite losing three of four. After Monday, seven straight are against opponents currently under .500.
After hosting Detroit on March 11, the degree of difficulty will increase. The Nets will embark on a seven-game trip, with six games against winning teams, and then face Boston, Milwaukee (twice), Toronto and Indiana before ending the season against Miami.
Brooklyn (31-30) is 4-7 in its last 11 games and returns home with a 1 1/2-game lead over seventh place Detroit in the Eastern Conference. The Nets also are two up on eighth-place Charlotte, three up on Orlando and 3 1/2 games ahead of Miami.
The Nets are coming off a stellar 40-point showing by D'Angelo Russell in Saturday's 117-115 win at Charlotte. Russell matched wits with Kemba Walker and tied a career high for points, while the Nets blew a 19-point lead before making plays on both ends down the stretch.
"I feel like when you have that All-Star badge, you have to be aggressive," said Russell, who made his first All-Star team as an injury replacement this year. "Teams expect it already, they game plan for you and they are trying to stop you -- and I feel like I can't be stopped."
The guard made 14 of 31 shots along with six 3-pointers and seven assists. He scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, and the Nets escaped when Caris LeVert blocked Walker's 3-point attempt at the buzzer on a play that could have been called a foul.
"Mentally we're just so strong we feel like we can win any game," LeVert said.
San Antonio is concluding the 17th edition of its annual trip and its second straight losing Rodeo Trip.
The Spurs were 2-4 on it last year, and this year they are 1-6.
San Antonio played one of its better games on the trip in Friday's 120-117 loss at Toronto. But the Spurs followed it up by allowing 51 percent shooting and 16 3-pointers in Sunday's 130-118 loss to the New York Knicks, who had lost 18 straight home games coming in.
"We played very soft in the first half," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "The only reason we were in the game was because our subs came out, showed some physicality, showed some effort.
"That group gets credit, but other than that it was a pathetic performance."
DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points Sunday, but the Spurs allowed 130 points for the eighth time this season. They are allowing 125.3 points per game on the current road trip.
San Antonio has won the last seven meetings with the Nets since a 95-93 overtime loss in Brooklyn on Dec. 3, 2014. The Spurs recorded a 117-114 win in San Antonio on Jan. 31, when Derrick White scored 26 points.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 25, 2019