On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the New York Knicks (15-26) played their traditional game on the holiday. The Brooklyn Nets (17-22) came into Madison Square Garden for round two of the Battle of New York and came out victorious, beating the Knicks 103-80. The series is now tied at one, and the Nets avenged their blow-out loss to the Knicks earlier this season by 30.
Again, the Knicks looked lethargic in a matinee game and the Nets made sure to step on the Knicks’ throat from the tip. There was no energy, no effort, and no heart from the Knicks and boos rained down from the crowd throughout the game -- even chants of “Brooklyn” could be heard throughout the second half. This was a very disappointing result for the Knicks, who are currently on a 4-game losing streak. In those four games, the Knicks have lost by an average of 18.8 points per game.
As for the Nets, Jason Kidd continues to not wear a tie to games and it seems to have helped turn the tide around -- okay, maybe it’s not because Kidd has gone tie-less. The Nets have improved dramatically on defense, allowing six less points per game than their 100.4 points against per game average in their last eight games. In those last eight games, the Nets are 7-1 and they currently occupy the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference.
Seven 1st quarter turnovers by the Knicks helped the Nets to a 27-16 lead. At the half, the Nets increased their advantage to 14, leading the Knicks 52-38. The Knicks played terrible, only shooting 33% from the field and turning over the ball eleven times. The Nets also had much more ball movement with 15 assists in the half, while the Knicks only had five. Joe Johnson led the Nets with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
In the beginning of the 3rd, the Knicks came out with some energy and Carmelo Anthony cut the lead to eight (52-44) with 10:22 to go. Afterwards, the Nets responded with a 17-6 run to push the lead to 19. Alan Anderson scored eight points, including two threes, during the run. The drumming continued into the 4th quarter, and the Nets went on to a comfortable win.
Andray Blatche was the star of the 4th quarter, showing off his array of guard skills as a big man. Blatche showed his handle and hit some jumpers to inflict more damage on an already wounded Knicks team.
Key Stats: Joe Johnson led the Nets with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Alan Anderson had 15 points. Andray Blatche had a double-double off the bench, scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Deron Williams had 13 points and 3 assists off the bench.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 26 points and 12 rebounds. J.R. Smith had 15 points, 3 rebounds off the bench. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 11 points off the bench.
Key Notes: Deron Williams returned from injury, but started on the bench for the Nets. Pablo Prigioni returned to the Knicks starting lineup after missing the last 16 games due to a broken big toe injury. Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire are both out due to sprained ankle injuries. Metta World Peace is still out due to a knee injury.
Knicks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday 109-95. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 32 points and 7 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 26 points and 20 rebounds.
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