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Keldon Johnson puts up 36 as Spurs top short-handed Nets

Jan 17, 2023; San Antonio, Texas, USA;  San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) defends Brooklyn Nets forward T.J. Warren (1) in the first half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Keldon Johnson scored a career-high 36 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the host San Antonio Spurs did just enough to beat the short-handed Brooklyn Nets 106-98 on Tuesday.

Jeremy Sochan scored 16 points, all in the first half, for San Antonio, which snapped a five-game losing streak. Tre Jones added 13 points while Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and eight rebounds in the win.

T.J. Warren led the Nets with 19 points, who played without Kevin Durant (right knee sprain) and Kyrie Irving (right calf soreness). Brooklyn took its third straight loss despite getting a triple-double — 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists — from Ben Simmons.

Brooklyn’s Seth Curry scored 16, Nic Claxton added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Cam Thomas also hit for 15 points and Edmond Sumner tallied 13.

The game was tied at halftime before San Antonio scored six of the final eight points of the third quarter to take a 76-68 advantage into the final period.

Brooklyn closed to within four points on a Simmons layup with 7:48 remaining and was as close as 99-94 when Curry had a putback hoop with 2:16 left.

However, the Spurs made the plays down the stretch, with Johnson hitting a 3-pointer with 57.3 seconds to play and Jones canning a pair of free throws with 29.9 seconds left for an eight-point edge.

Johnson then converted two from charity stripe with 12.7 seconds remaining to cement the win.

The Spurs jumped on Brooklyn early, building a 14-point lead on two occasions in the opening quarter. A putback by Zach Collins granted San Antonio a 27-15 edge at end of the period.

The Nets got back in the game with a 10-0 run over the first half of the second period, capped by Warren’s jumper with 7:31 to play. The Nets eventually got over the hump, taking as much as a five-point advantage on a jumper by Curry at the 1:17 mark before San Antonio closed the half with a flurry, scoring the final five points to forge a 51-51 tie at the break.

Sochan led all scorers with 16 points in the half, while Warren lead the Nets with 14 off the bench.

–Field Level Media