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.
After losing a tough game to the Bulls on Thursday, the Knicks fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves (3-0) at the Garden 109-100.
Coach Mike Woodson has always stressed dominance on home court, but that definitely wasn’t the case with how the Knicks came out in the 1st quarter. Raymond Felton got off to a quick start for the Knicks by scoring the first 4 points to open up a 4 point lead. Carmelo Anthony picked up his second foul late in the 1st quarter, which has been a problem for him so far this season. When he was taken out of the game, the Timberwolves were up 19-15. The Timberwolves ended the quarter on a 21-4 run to go into the 2nd quarter with a 40-19 lead.
Turnovers, which has been a problem for the Knicks so far this season, reared it’s ugly head as the Knicks turned it over 6 times in the 1st quarter. The Timberwolves were able to capitalize on the Knicks errors to put the game out of reach.
With about 4 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, Andrea Bargnani hit a 3 which cut the lead to 13 points (49-36). The Knicks couldn’t get much closer and went into the half down 64-49.
The Knicks took better care of the ball in the 2nd quarter and had a total of 8 turnovers at the half. Anthony struggled from the field, but Bargnani and Metta World Peace picked up the slack by scoring 12 points each. Kevin Love led the Wolves with 18 points, 7 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic had 9 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
In the 3rd quarter, the Timberwolves increased the lead to 23 (76-53) off of a Corey Brewer jumper with about 7 minutes to go. The Knicks began to come back as a Tim Hardaway Jr. stuff off the fast break cut the lead to 13 (82-69) near the 3 minute mark, but the Wolves went on a 11-4 run to put the lead back up to 20 (93-73). The quarter ended with the Knicks down 93-78.
Anthony caught fire in the 4th quarter and the Knicks began to mount a comeback. Anthony provided the assist to Pablo Prigioni for a 3 which cut the lead to 11 (95-84) at the 9:30 mark. At the 8 minute mark, a Anthony jumper cut the lead to single digits for the first time since the 1st quarter. Knicks force a turnover on the next possession and on the fast break Anthony finds Prigioni for the layup to cut the lead to 7.
Overall, the Knicks go on a 20-7 run to cut the lead to 2 points (100-98); capped off by a Iman Shumpert 3 pointer with 4:48 to go. That’s the closest the Knicks would get, and Love put the nail in the coffin with an off-balance shot off the glass to give the Timberwolves a 106-98 lead near the 3 minute mark.
Carmelo Anthony had a bad shooting night (8-21) but managed to finish the game with 22 points and 17 rebounds. Metta World Peace contributed with 17 points off of the bench.
Kevin Love and Kevin Martin both had huge games for the Timberwolves. Love finished with 34 points and 15 rebounds. Martin finished with 30 points, shooting 9-12 from the field and 5-5 from 3 point range. Nikola Pekovic finished with a double-double, 11 points and 12 rebounds.