After a tough OT loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wendesday night, the Nets got their first win of the season, beating the rival Knicks 113-109 on Friday night.
Head coach Kenny Atkinson was proud of his team's effort after the win.
"Sometimes you gotta find a way," Atkinson said. "I thought our defensive effort was good, take the third quarter out, I thought overall our defense was much much better."
The Nets lead the Knicks 64- 52 at halftime, but were outscored in the third quarter 32-30. The Knicks would go on to outscore the Nets again in the fourth quarter, 26-19, but it wasn't enough to overcome the first half deficit.
Star point guard Kyrie Irving scored 50 points against the T-Wolves -- setting the NBA single-game record for points in a debut -- but missed the game winning shot as time expired.
Against the Knicks, Irving scored 26 points and hit a step-back three-pointer over Knicks rookie RJ Barrett to give the Nets a 111-109 lead with 21.9 seconds left in the game.
"It was a heck of a step-back he hit on the right side, that was some shot," Atkinson said of Irving. "Happy for him, thought he played really well again, really well."
Despite the win, the Nets still struggled with the little things. They had 26 turnovers, which turned into 29 points for the Knicks, and had 26 personal fouls in the game.
"We have to, how should I say this, there's a lot we have a lot to work on," Atkinson said. "I thought there were a lot of mental mistakes, a lot of silly fouls, and a lot of general breakdowns that happen in the middle of the season, but it almost cost us. Even though we won the game, we'll have another long film session to look at all the mistakes we made. We made a lot."