So far this season, it seems like the rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets (3-6) and the New York Knicks (3-6) is based on who won’t finish last in the division, rather than who will finish on top.
On Friday, Nets were able to eek out a win against the Phoenix Suns (5-4) on the road, 100-98 in overtime.
Suns led early and held their largest lead, fourteen points, with a little less than four minutes left in the quarter, 46-32. The Nets cut into the lead before the half to go into halftime trailing by 4, 50-46.
In the next quarter, the Nets scored the first sixteen points of the quarter to take a 62-50 lead which prompted the Suns to call a timeout.
Afterwards, the Suns were able to get back into the game and held a two point lead late in the 4th. Joe Johnson, who had a miserable night shooting, hit a floater with 30 seconds left to send the game into overtime; and in overtime, he hit another floater at the buzzer to win the game for the Nets.
Brook Lopez, who scored 25 of his 27 points in the second half and overtime, led the Nets in scoring. He also grabbed 7 rebounds and had 3 blocks. Shaun Livingston also had a good game, deputizing for an injured Deron Williams (injured his ankle in the 1st quarter), scoring 18 points with 6 assists. Joe Johnson shot 6-19 from the field and finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Kevin Garnett grabbed 14 rebounds.
Goran Dragic had a double-double scoring 19 points with 10 assists. P.J. Tucker contributed with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe had 15 points and 7 rebounds. Marcus Morris provided good minutes off the bench contributing 13 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
Nets finished their three game West road-trip 1-2, as they fell to the Los Angeles Clippers (7-3) 110-103 on Saturday.
Nets were without four of their starters: Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Brook Lopez. Despite not having four starters in their lineup, the Nets battled and kept the game close throughout.
At halftime, the Nets led 55-54, then they opened the 3rd quarter with ten straight points to open up a 65-54 lead. Clippers then responded with a devastating 20-2 run, a run which saw J.J. Redick hit two 3-pointers and Byron Mullens hitting one. Nets finished the quarter on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to one, 76-75, going into the 4th.
Clippers increased the lead to six points early in the 4th due to 3-pointers made by Mullens and Jamal Crawford. Joe Johnson cut the lead to one, 93-92, with a jump hook later in the quarter.
Redick and Chris Paul hit 3-pointers, along with a Blake Griffin free throw, to increase the lead back up to six, 100-94, late in the 4th. With under a minute to go, Joe Johnson hit a running bank shot to cut the lead to three, 104-101; then on the next possession, DeAndre Jordan dunked the ball to put the Clippers up by five to help seal the win.
Andray Blatche led the Nets scoring with 19 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. Mason Plumlee had huge production off the bench with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Alan Anderson had 15 points. Reggie Evans grabbed 11 rebounds.
Blake Griffin had a huge double-double with 30 points and 12 rebounds. J.J. Redick also had a huge game scoring 26 points. Chris Paul had a double-double with 12 points and 13 assists. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 16 rebounds.
In their only game played this weekend, Knicks had a dismal performance against the Atlanta Hawks (6-4), losing at the Garden 110-90. This loss marked the Knicks fifth consecutive loss at the Garden this season.
Knicks were in the game early as they took the lead going into the 2nd quarter, 26-24. Hawks bench took over in the 2nd quarter and went on a 17-3 run, which saw them jump out to a 41-29 lead. Knicks were able to cut the lead to seven, 54-47, before the half and that is as close as the Knicks got. The Knicks were outscored 56-43 in the second half, and they were outscored by nine points in the 4th quarter.
After the game, Carmelo Anthony said, “We’re not getting it done from an effort standpoint. It’s like we’re not even trying right now.” This is a very worrying sign for the Knicks, and the team needs to start playing for each other.
Iman Shumpert continues to be shopped around with the latest reports stating he was offered to the Boston Celtics, along with Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire for Rajon Rondo. Celtics rejected the trade.
Carmelo Anthony had a double-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Andrea Bargnani contributed with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Metta World Peace didn’t play due to injury.
Jeff Teague led all Hawks scorers with 16 points. Kyle Korver scored 15 points. Paul Millsap had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Shelvin Mack also had a double-double with 12 points and 12 assists.