The Least You Should Know
[sny-box] The Nets trailed by only seven at halftime, but the Knicks outscored Brooklyn, 34-16, in the dreaded third quarter to cruise to an easy win.
The Knicks were red hot all game from three-point range, finishing 16-of-27 (59 percent) from beyond the arch.
Carmelo Anthony, who averaged 35.0 points per game against the Nets last year, recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but it was Iman Shumpert who torched the Nets from long range. Shumpert drained a game-high and career-high five three-pointers en route to 17 points.
Brook Lopez had a big game for the Nets, scoring a game-high 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass.
It seemed like the Knicks couldn’t miss all night, as they shot a collective 44-of-77 from the field (57 percent).
If the Knicks were playing to keep Mike Woodson’s job safe, they definitely responded with their best game of the year.
But this was downright ugly for the Nets, and Brooklyn – not the Knicks as Anthony said on Wednesday – is now officially the “laughingstock of the league.”
It was supposed to be Melo, not the defensive specialist Shumpert, who would give the Nets trouble. But Shumpert, whose name has been mentioned as a potential trade candidate, really stepped up on the big stage.
You would think that the Nets would get amped up for this sort of rivalry game, especially against a team struggling as bad as the Knicks. But that was far from the case.
Of course the Knicks shot lights out from behind the three-point line…they were all wide-open shots. Brooklyn failed to make an adjustment all game and instead just sat back and let the Knicks drain three after three.
The Nets dominated the offensive glass, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds, so it was embarrassing that they couldn’t get anything going offensively with all those second-chance opportunities. Everyone was just standings around.
And another thing: Why on earth was Lopez even on the floor for as long as he was in the fourth quarter? It was all garbage time; he’s coming off injury; and this team has already been decimated enough by injuries. Not a smart decision by Jason Kidd, but then again, there haven’t been many of those this season (see Soda-Gate).
What’s even worse is how Barclays Center turned into a pseudo-Madison Square Garden. This is still a Knicks’ town, but hearing “Let’s Go Knicks” chants – and other derogatory Nets chants – in the arena was depressing.
The Knicks snapped their nine-game losing streak by taking the first of four matchups in this year’s “Battle of the Boroughs,” while the Nets have now lost six straight games at home. The loss marked the second time this season that the Nets have lost by 30 points and the first time in franchise history that the Nets lost consecutive home games by 20-plus points each.
We’ve tried to be patient all season, but if there was ever a time to start panicking, this could be it.
Brooklyn hits the road Saturday to take on the Milwaukee Bucks – the only team worse than the Nets and Knicks in the Eastern Conference. Tip is set for 8:30 PM.