Sunday night was a bad night for both New York teams as the Brooklyn Nets (1-2) and the New York Knicks (1-2) lost.
After a strong showing against the Miami Heat on Friday, the Nets couldn’t repeat their performance on the road against the Orlando Magic (2-2) and were blown out 107-86.
Jason Kidd returned from suspension to coach his first regular season game and it definitely didn’t go according to plan. The Magic jumped out to quick 12-7 lead before the Nets went on a 8-1 run to take the lead with a Paul Pierce pass to Brook Lopez for the alley-oop. Both teams went into the 2nd quarter tied at 22.
The game remained close throughout the 2nd quarter and the Magic went into halftime with a 41-38 lead. The Nets controlled the tempo by forcing the Magic to play a half-court game, and that’s what kept them in the game despite the bad shooting (36% from the field). Brook Lopez led the Nets in scoring with 10 points and Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 13 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.
In the 2nd half, the Magic began to pull away. Former St. John’s Red Storm star Maurice Harkless hit two 3s for the Magic to put them up by 7 (47-40) early in the 3rd quarter. Near the midway point, the Magic increased the lead to 16 (58-42) and the Nets were reeling.
The Nets made a 10-3 run to cut the lead to single digits off of a Pierce dunk, but afterwards Magic rookie Victor Oladipo scored 8 straight points to push the lead back up to 15. The Nets trailed the Magic 74-59 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The Nets couldn’t get back into the game and the Magic ran away with it in the 4th quarter. Brook Lopez led all Nets scorers with 21 points and he grabbed 6 rebounds. Paul Pierce also contributed with 16 points and 7 rebounds.
Nikola Vucevic and Andrew Nicholson both had double-doubles for the Magic with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 17 points, 11 rebounds respectively. Victor Oladipo scored 19 points off the bench and Arron Afflalo contributed with 16 points and 8 assists.