Rapid Reaction: Nets 103, Spurs 89

NEW YORK -- Alan Anderson, who makes nearly $948,000, carried the Brooklyn Nets, who have a payroll of nearly $102 million, over the San Antonio Spurs, who were missing five of their top six scorers.

Makes no sense. On this night, not much did.

Brooklyn played down to its competition early but eventually turned it on, beating the San Antonio subs 103-89 Thursday at Barclays Center.

Anderson scored 11 straight points, bridging the third and fourth quarters, and had 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half.

What it means: The Nets (22-25) survived. Had they not beaten the Spurs (36-14), it would’ve been pretty humiliating. But they did, and it was their first win over San Antonio since March 29, 2010. The Spurs had bested Brooklyn in 20 of the previous 21 regular-season meetings.

Spurs depleted: The Spurs were without Tim Duncan (rest), Tony Parker (back), Manu Ginobili (hamstring), Kawhi Leonard (hand) and Boris Diaw (illness). To make matters worse, Nando de Colo broke his nose in the first half and had to wear a mask in the second half. Matt Bonner was also wearing a mask. Go figure.

D-Will finds groove: Deron Williams, ripped by Charles Barkley earlier in the day, missed his first four shots but rebounded to finish 7-for-14 from the field. He scored 16 points and dished out eight assists.

Williams came up limping pretty badly after he was hit in the knee by Patty Mills after making a corner jumper in the second quarter. Williams went to the locker room briefly but returned shortly thereafter.

Supporting cast: Paul Pierce finished with 12 points and seven rebounds on an efficient 5-for-6 from the field. Andray Blatche added 10 points off the bench, while Kevin Garnett had eight points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes.

Help arrives: Joe Johnson (knee), Andrei Kirilenko (calf) and Blatche (hip) all returned for the Nets. Kirilenko made the biggest impact of the three, notching a season-high eight rebounds and dishing out a season-high six assists.

The Nets, who haven’t been able to rebound, outrebounded the Spurs 53-38. Brooklyn shot 49.5 percent from the field, while limiting San Antonio to 39.7 percent.

Coming out flat: The Nets trailed 18-6 and were outscored 24-17 in the first quarter. Things would get better. Brooklyn led 68-66 with 1:53 left in the third before Anderson took over.

Up next: The Nets head to Detroit to face the Pistons on Friday night in the second half of a back-to-back at The Palace of Auburn Hills.