The Nets were unable to build upon Saturday's 121-111 overtime win over the Detroit Pistons, falling 110-97 to the Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. >> Box Score
Five things to know from Sunday's game
1) There was a somber mood before the contest even tipped off. The NBA world mourned the sudden loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died earlier Sunday in a Calabasas, Calif., helicopter crash that killed nine people. The 41-year-old Bryant was on board a short flight to his nearby Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. TMZ first reported the incident and local authorities confirmed the details.
2) Following the news of Bryant's tragic death, the Nets won the opening tip but Spencer Dinwiddie held out for a 24-second shot-clock violation. On the ensuing possession, the Knicks did the same with Elfrid Payton. The move was done to honor the 18-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion, who played all 20 seasons with the Lakers (1996-16) but started with the No. 8 before he switched his jersey to the No. 24 from 2006-16. "Kobe" chants broke out from the crowd on hand at MSG, which was lit up outside with purple and gold and videoboard graphics of Bryant.
3) Players and coaches were hit hard by the Bryant news before and during the game. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson appeared to fight back tears as he issued his pregame statement to reports and did not take questions. Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving, who was close with Bryant, did not play due to personal reasons. Among those that did play, the Nets were led by Dinwiddie's game-high 23 points. The Knicks saw five players as double-digit scorers, including a pair of 20-point outings from Julius Randle's 22 and Marcus Morris' 21.
4) The Knicks received 11 points apiece from Taj Gibson and Frank Ntilikina, while Mitchell Robinson and Reggie Bullock respectively added 12 and 10 to round out the double-digit scorers. New York shot 53.8 percent from the field and made 6 of 13 three-pointers for a 46.2-percent clip. Randle's 15 rebounds highlighted the Knicks' advantage against the Nets on the glass, where New York commanded a 46-33 lead in boards. Brooklyn's highest mark in that department came on Allen's six grabs.
5) The Knicks have now evened up the season series against the Nets at 2-2. After Brooklyn took the first couple of games, New York got on the board with Dec. 26's 94-82 win. That result sent the Nets into a spiral the team has yet to fully recover from, losing 13 of their past 16 games along the way. New York improves to 13-34 while Brooklyn drops to 19-26.
Kobe ♥️ pic.twitter.com/P64GGjV1v6- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) January 27, 2020
The Knicks and Nets took 24 second shot clock violations to honor Kobe pic.twitter.com/xI5YBMPTiv- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) January 26, 2020
Looking to get back on track, the Nets resume action with Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. game against the Pistons (17-30) at Barclays Center.