Starting 5


Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: Spurs gonna Spur

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/ZimbioThe San Antonio Spurs are vanilla. They duck their heads and get their work done. Consistency is San Antonio's way.

Securing the franchise's 16th consecutive winning season might as well have been a given. The Spurs did not have to do it Monday night with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili sitting out on the second night of a back to back. That is the Spurs for ya.

And then the Spurs did something that they always seem to. With those three sitting out, San Antonio withstood Chicago's best shot and topped the team… on the road. It was an exquisite fourth quarter of basketball from the Spurs.

San Antonio got some brilliant playmaking from point guard Nando de Colo, doing his best Tony Parker impersonation. Kawhi Leonard took over the scoring load and played up to that expectation. The Bulls could not crack the focused Spurs defense after Gregg Popovich ripped into Gary Neal and De Colo early on in the quarter.

The Spurs won the final 12 minutes 27-18 and turned an otherwise interesting game into a laugher pretty quickly. The Spurs won 103-89 at United Center on Monday.

Leonard scored 26 points on 11-for-18 shooting. San Antonio as a team shot 52.9 percent as a team against the vaunted Chicago defense. Tom Thibodeau's full team could not figure out how to solve the Spurs one way or the other.

And San Antonio accomplished another ho-hum winning season in the process.

2: Nets doing extra work

Winning at Banker's Life Fieldhouse is not easy to do.

The Pacers have one of the best home records in the league. So what Brooklyn did Monday night is a rare feat.

Joe Johnson hit a game-tying fadeaway jumper with about 10 seconds left to force overtime. From then on, the Nets took control of the game. Gerald Wallace was a defensive ace in the fourth quarter helping shut down Paul George for most of the game and certainly in overtime.

David West could not dominate and get himself going and neither could George. The two combined for 12 points on 3-for-21 shooting. That is not what you want from your two best players. And Roy Hibbert did not play well either.

Brook Lopez scored 25 points and dominated the paint. Of course the Pacers slowed the game down and the Nets did too as the Pacers played their patented defense.

This game came down to execution. And at the end, Brooklyn was better at executing in the 89-85 overtime win.

Tyshawn Taylor stepped into Deron Williams' shoes and provided an offensive spark at key times. Brooklyn was simply the better team when things mattered.


Belinelli on the prowl

Nene smash

Devin Harris saves the game

4: Line of the Night: Ryan Anderson — 31 points, 13/21 FGs, 5/9 3FGs

Ryan Anderson has been a model of efficiency for the last three years and he has games like this occasionally. He hits 3-pointers with startling pace and efficiency. Soemtimes no defense can stop him if he gets into rhythm and gets open. Anderson pouredi n one of those games as New Orleans defeated Detroit 105-86.

5:  You can quote me on that

All of us are basketball players here. We’re competitive. That’s why we play the game. If we go in doubting ourselves, we’re already beat.

-Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard on playing without the Spurs star players

It was just a few seconds worth of pain, but you’ve got to fight through that. I was able to shake it off, so I was okay.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal who came off the bench and shook off a nagging wrist injury to score a career-high 28 points in a 102-90 victory over the Bucks

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily