NEW YORK — They were bloodied and eventually beaten, though not before delivering the type of effort Gregg Popovich always expects of his San Antonio Spurs.
Even when his team is so banged-up that it had two guys in protective facemasks on the court at the same time — and one of them broke his nose again, anyway.
“I know we didn’t look pretty,” Popovich said. “I’m more interested in results than how we look. So I thought they performed well.”
The short-handed Spurs hung in, but Alan Anderson scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 103-89 victory Thursday night.
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Despite playing without Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard, their top four scorers, the Spurs were still within five points early in the fourth quarter before the Nets pulled away for good.
Deron Williams added 16 points and eight assists as Brooklyn ended a six-game losing streak to San Antonio with its first victory since March 29, 2010.
The Spurs overcame all their challenges to pull out a 125-118 double-overtime victory at Washington on Wednesday, but didn’t have enough to beat an improving Brooklyn team and fell to 2-1 on their nine-game rodeo trip.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry had 34 points and nine assists, former Cougar Klay Thompson scored 22 points and the undermanned Golden State Warriors rallied from 16 down in the first half to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-87.
Curry finished 13 for 19 shooting, and Thompson shot 8 of 16 from the floor to give the Warriors’ raucous fans a reason to cheer after losing five of their previous seven at home.
NEW YORK — Portland’s Damian Lillard will become the first player to compete in three events during All-Star Saturday night in New Orleans, including a slam-dunk contest that features three All-Stars for the first time in 26 years.
Indiana’s Paul George and Washington’s John Wall also will take part in the night’s marquee event Feb. 15. There haven’t been three All-Stars in the dunk contest since the famed 1988 duel, when Michael Jordan beat Dominique Wilkins on his home floor in Chicago, in a field that also included Clyde Drexler.
Lillard, the reigning Rookie of the Year, will play in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night before defending his Skills Challenge title and competing in the three-point contest.
The remainder of the dunk field is defending champion and former Husky Terrence Ross of Toronto, Golden State’s Harrison Barnes and rookie Ben McLemore of Sacramento.
Cleveland All-Star Kyrie Irving will defend his three-point title against a field that also includes All-Stars Stephen Curry of Golden State, Kevin Love of Minnesota and Joe Johnson of Brooklyn, plus Orlando’s Arron Afflalo, Washington’s Bradley Beal and San Antonio’s Marco Belinelli.
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — The Cleveland Cavaliers made a big change with another season falling apart, firing general manager Chris Grant.
Grant was fired a day after the Cavs dropped their sixth straight game, an embarrassing home loss to a Los Angeles Lakers team that started with eight players and finished with five.