Tony Parker had 18 points to lead six players in double figures and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 113-92 victory over the listless Brooklyn Nets, who on Tuesday night.
Brooklyn (10-30) began the season with the same hope as a New Year's Eve celebration after a blockbuster trade brought former NBA champions Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the team. That promise ended quickly and the lackluster loss to San Antonio was a microcosm of their season so far.
"It's embarrassing," Pierce said. "You go out and you're down 30 at the end of the third quarter, give up 98 points (entering the fourth); it's embarrassing. I don't think I've been a part of this many blowouts in one season, already. At some point we've got to have our pride come from each individual and say we've had enough of this. It's extremely embarrassing."
Pierce was limited to six points on 2-for-7 shooting and Garnett was held to two points, failing to make a field goal for only the second time in his 19-year career and the first time since 1996.
It got so bad for the Nets they couldn't even end the game. Brooklyn was forced to call a timeout with 0.2 seconds left after a long delay because they only had four players who hadn't retreated to the locker room - thinking the game had ended. Several Nets had not fully retreated and were still in the walkway leading to the back of the AT&T Center, but resumed after initially stopping when the officials ruled the game was not over. With first-year coach Jason Kidd and his staff standing around puzzled, Andrei Kirilenko slowly walked back to the court and was subbed in along with Joe Johnson to complete the game with an inbounds pass.
"They thought the game was over, there was no confusion," Kidd said. "They had left; they thought the game was over. Tom (Washington, official) asked if I needed to take a timeout just to get two guys back."
Pierce was asked if Kidd, who is in his first year as a coach after a stellar NBA career, had lost the team.
"What are you talking about, I don't understand the question," Pierce said. "I don't, I don't. What do you mean, lost? Do I listen to Jason? I listen to Jason. I do what he says. He's our coach. I don't get into all that."
San Antonio didn't face any similar adversity in the game, not that they ever could with the fiery Gregg Popovich in charge.
"Not really, because Pop will still scream," Parker said. "Even if we're up 30, he'll still say something, so we'll stay focused."
And he'll say it to whomever, even if it's a 12-year veteran that has helped him win three NBA titles.
Popovich was upset with Ginobili for failing to pass the ball on a 2-on-1 break against Mirza Teletovic to close the first quarter. Ginobili missed a contested layup, with the buzzer sounding as the ball bounced away. Popovich immediately stormed the court and began berating Ginobili, who gestured he thought he had a scoop layup. Popovich followed Ginobili to the bench, but was held back by Duncan momentarily. Popovich eventually worked his way around Duncan and yelled at Ginobili on the bench between quarters. Duncan, who wasn't in the lineup at the time, consoled a visibly upset Ginobili prior to the start of the second quarter.
"We had an exchange," Ginobili said. "He was upset at my first three plays; I thought they were not that bad. It just happens. We just both want to win and he got upset and he was right. Most of the times, I'm right (with a laugh)... but no, he was right; I was a little upset but nothing serious of course."
Kirilenko was playing his first game after missing the last 25 with back spasms. He had four points.
Jason Terry was shocked by the hostile reception he received upon entering the game early in the first quarter. As the booing grew louder and louder, Terry turned to the crowd, smiled, raised his arms, shrugged and asked `'what." Terry has spent the past two seasons in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Celtics and Nets, but Spurs fans obviously have not forgotten his testy battles with the Spurs during his days with the Dallas Mavericks.