Deron Williams Records Double-Double in Nets Debut Loss to Spurs

Jim MancariCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2011

Deron Williams as a member of the Western Conference All-Stars.
Deron Williams as a member of the Western Conference All-Stars.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Deron Williams faced a tough challenge in his New Jersey Nets debut: the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs continued their winning ways as they earned a 106-96 win over the Nets at the AT&T Center. San Antonio improves to 27-2 at home, including a 20-game home winning streak. The Nets have now lost four straight games.

Williams scored 39 points in his last game against the Spurs, but he was not so lucky tonight. Despite inconsistent shooting and an obvious adjustment period, Williams recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists in 41:20 in his Nets’ debut.

The Nets came out with tons of energy early. Williams created a few opportunities, which were impressive since he hasn’t played with any of these players except briefly with Kris Humphries.

However, New Jersey’s play turned sloppy from there. Williams had a few costly turnovers as he tried to feel out his new teammates.

The Spurs went on a 9-0 run to take an 11-point lead. DeJuan Blair was unstoppable early as he scored 13 points in the first quarter.

Anthony Morrow looked great off the bench for the Nets, scoring 11 points on 3-of-3 shooting early on.

With under a minute remaining in the first, Williams hurt his right wrist. He was in obvious pain on New Jersey’s bench as the quarter closed with the Nets down just four.

The Nets’ second unit outplayed the Spurs’ bench early in the second quarter, giving New Jersey their first lead of the night. Manu Ginobili’s shooting struggles continued which allowed the Nets to make up some ground.

Williams checked back in at the 7:26 mark of the second quarter, but that didn’t stop the Spurs from reopening a seven point lead.

The Nets refused to fold as they opened a 7-0 run of their own. Williams hit his first field goal as a Net at the 2:00 mark of the second quarter. However, Williams seemed to develop a connection with Humphries, who knocked down the open mid-range jumpers.

The first half close with an exciting spurt of back-and-forth play. The Nets led by one at the break and Williams had seven assists in the first half to lead both teams.

Ginobili began to heat up in the third quarter, scoring both in the paint and from the outside. The Spurs regained the lead early in the quarter and opened their largest lead of the night at 18 points as the third came to a close. The Spurs had five players in double figures through three quarters.

The Nets regained their focus as they were able to chip away at San Antonio’s lead to make it a more manageable seven points.

However, the Spurs showed why they’re the top team in the NBA and buried the Nets over the final five minutes. Every time the Nets made a run, the Spurs answered with a dagger the quelled New Jersey’s comeback attempts.

Ginobili had a game-high 26 points, while Tim Duncan and Blair knocked in 17 points apiece. Anthony Morrow led the Nets with 25 points in just 29 minutes.

Tony Parker had a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists.

The Nets head to Houston to take on the Rockets Saturday night. For what it’s worth, the Knicks lost to the NBA-worst Cavaliers in Carmelo Anthony’s second game.