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.
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.
Paul Pierce had 12 points for the Nets, who have turned things around since the Spurs outclassed them 112-93 in San Antonio on New Year’s Eve, leaving Brooklyn at 10-21. They are 12-4 in 2014 and have won two straight since dropping three in a row, all against division leaders.
“We’ve got the pieces,” Anderson said. “We’re finally starting to turn the corner a lot more lately. I just want to win no matter how much I’m playing.”
Warriors 102, Bulls 87
In Oakland, Stephen Curry had 34 points and nine assists, Klay Thompson scored 22 points and undermanned Golden State rallied from 16 down in the first half to beat Chicago.
With big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee sidelined with injuries, the Warriors’ streaky backcourt tandem found its shooting stroke after falling behind 34-18 in the second quarter. Curry finished 13-for-19 shooting, and Thompson shot 8 of 16 from the floor to give Golden State’s raucous fans a reason to cheer after losing five of its previous seven at home.
Taj Gibson had 26 points and 13 rebounds filling in for Carlos Boozer, and Kirk Hinrich scored 15 points as the Bulls dropped to 2-3 on their road trip, which ends Sunday at the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors shot 48.2 percent, including 50 percent from 3-point range, and got 11 points apiece from reserves Harrison Barnes and Jordan Crawford to go ahead 91-77 with 4:54 remaining.
Tony Snell and Jimmy Butler each hit consecutive 3s, and Butler followed with a pair of free throws that pulled Chicago to within 91-85.
Then Jordan Crawford rattled in a 3-pointer, and Butler and Curry traded baskets to keep Golden State in control.