Brooklyn won the game and lost James Harden. – Again.
The Nets defeated the Knicks 114-112 in front of a mixed crowd from 1773 at the Barclays Center, completing their rival’s seasonal cleanup. They started the shorthand game and finished it destroyed – but victorious.
Playing without Kevin Durant (as well as Tyler Johnson, Landry Shamet and Blake Griffin), the Nets saw Harden come out with another tendon inflammation in the first quarter. But Kyrie Irving, the last man in Brooklyn’s Big Three, took over and dominated the night with a high 40 points and seven assists.
Brooklyn (35-16) returned from a 1
The crowd was fairly evenly divided and roared as both teams ran. And while the Knicks have been fired for rivalry, the networks have other priorities.
“To be honest, we’re so focused on ourselves, trying to get through this area where we have guys in and out of the lineup, that we’re actually just focusing on the inside right now and trying to see how we can manage that period, and also if we can keep improving, ”said head coach Steve Nash. “It’s not like we’re in a game in a season where there are fans and we’ve had great health and here we have a reason to get up. We have many reasons to get up for this. We have a list that changes with injuries and whatnot, so we’re actually just trying to focus on how we can achieve a good performance together. “
The Knicks fell 0-3 this season against Brooklyn, despite vigorous efforts. RJ Barrett – Nash’s godfather – had 22 points on the team. Reggie Bullock had 21 and Julius Randall 19 points, 15 boards and a dozen assists, but missed a potential binding hit to the buzzer.
“There is pride in every game,” said Tom Thibodeau. “You come into the game, you know they’re talented. We have to be ready to play for 48 minutes. It is difficult to win on the road. You can’t mislead your bodyguards. ”
The upset Knicks looked hungry, leading 86-75 and leaving 4:37 in the third. But the Nets made a 20-5 run that covered the periods to lead four points with 9:52 left.
Brooklyn held the Knicks at just 2 of 10 five-turn shots – as much as they had forced in the first 32 minutes.
Nike even pulled a 3-point lead from Alec Burks with the remaining 26 seconds. But Jeff Green (the season’s highest 23 points) fought inside for an offensive rebound from a pass from Joe Harris, winning an offensive rebound and a pair of free throws to continue with a 3.7 tic in regulation.
The Nets had a 51-50 lead on Jeff Green’s free throw with 3:17 left in the second quarter.
But a pair of thefts by Taj Gibson helped cause the Knicks to break and change the game 17-2.
Knicks hit five straight shots, including three from behind the arc. And when Reggie Bullock squeezed a 3-point with 55.8 seconds left in the half, the nets were 67-53.
Brooklyn was still 86-75 after RJ Barrett’s jumper 4:37 to play in third; but they turned to go back forward, entering the fourth. The Nets closed the period with a 14-2 run, harassing the Knicks in a 1-on-6 four-turn shot.
When the Networks needed security stops, they got some.
A pair of Harris buckets brought the lead to 95-91. And a ten-meter shot from the bank put Brooklyn ahead 102-94 with 6:58 in the fourth. They almost had to deal with overtime, as Knick pulls even at 112-all.
But Green received winning fouls in the game and got the necessary stop.