The Knicks lost 100-92, to the New Jersey Nets, as the Nets made 15 3-pointers to only five for the Knicks. It was the first game back for Carmelo Anthony, and Baron Davis finally made his season debut.
Anthony had been out of the lineup since hurting his groin during the first-half of the win over the Utah Jazz on the 6th. He was able to make his first jumper to give the Knicks a 4-0 advantage. However, since it was his first game back after missing seven contests, he missed a few easy shots that he would normally make. Melo also had six turnovers, but also displayed his passing ability with six assists.
Not only did the Nets sink 15 3-pointers, but they nearly made half of their attempts, going 15-31. That was basically the only way they could have defeated the Knicks, since they got the seven point win over the Nets on the 4th. Deron Williams made eight 3-pointers.
The Knicks and Nets finished the game very close in every statistical category besides 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage, as the Knicks only made 24 percent of their attempts. The Knicks are now 16-17, after having won eight of their last 10 games.
The Knicks started the game off with excellent ball movement as Anthony used a baseball style pass to Amar’e Stoudemire under the basket that would lead to an and one. The Knicks started the game by making 6-10 shots with assists on five of those made shots, to help them take 13-3 lead with 6:40 remaining.
Lin stole the ball, had a 3 one 1 break and because nobody stepped up to closely guard him, he smartly took the ball to the basket with some creative dribbling helping the Knicks take a 19-15 lead. That was already his third steal, to go along with three assists. A few plays earlier he threaded the needle with a half-court pass that led to a dunk by JR Smith, who was playing in his second game since coming from China.
The Knicks played well during the first quarter, except for Anthony missing a few lay-ups, and would take a 24-18 lead. The Nets (10-24) were in the game as a result of making four of their six 3-pointers in the first quarter.
With two minutes gone by in the second quarter, Baron Davis made the extra pass to Steve Novak for the 3-pointer. That was his first assist with the team after making some nice passes that his teammates missed on earlier possessions. This will be helpful in future games, especially coming up against the Heat, since now they will actually have a second legit point guard.
Davis would finish the game with three points and one assist in almost 10 minutes, but was able to be aggressive, make passes just like he did last season when he averaged seven assists and look like he will allow Lin not to have to play more than 35 minutes a game. It would be ideal if Lin can play 30 minutes a game since if he continues at his current rate it will catch up to him.
With 3:24 remaining in the second quarter, to make the score 42-37, Melo used a vintage move to the basket, that was within the flow of the offense. However, that lay-up was followed by Swiss cheese defense as the rookie out of Providence, Marshon Brooks, made a rare four-point play as he made another Nets 3-pointer, their ninth, to give the Nets 46-37 lead.
The Knicks were leading by 10 but the tide would change as the Nets would take a 10 point lead, to make the score 50-40. Fields would allow the Knicks to end the half on a high note as the nailed a baseline jumper as time expired to reduce the deficit to eight points.
The Knicks moved the ball well as they had 12 assists in the first 24 minutes, but they only shot 39 percent during the first half. The Nets only shot 38 percent in the first two quarters, but their nine 3-pointers to only three for the Knicks was the difference at the half.
Jared Jeffries had to get up high to block Shelden Williams’s dunk attempt and then Lin made a sweet pass to Fields for the slam at the other end. This would make the score 59-52, Nets, about half way into the third. Unfortunately, Fields would miss the free throw as the Knicks missed seven of them during the game.
As Kris Humphries was running up the floor Anthony was charged with a technical foul for blatantly tripping him. It had been a very physical game by both teams to this point.
A few possessions later, Lin would have one of his few mistakes as he fouled Deron Williams on a 3-pointer. Williams would sink the three and then make the free throw. That was his sixth 3-pointer.
Williams would then make 3-pointers on each of the Nets next two possessions. He likely came in extra motivated as Lin dominated him last time they faced off.
Tyson Chandler would get a technical foul for shoving Humphries after he had been fouled by Humphries a few seconds earlier. It was not anything severe, but the refs usually catch the player that retaliates. That was surprisingly Chandler’s eighth technical of the season. Chandler is the anchor of the defense as well as one of the leaders of the team so he will need to cut down on his technicals so that he will not get a one-game suspension.
Lin was smartly able to draw a foul on Deron Williams, who was by far the star of the game, helping him commit his sixth foul. He scored 38 points and had six assists, but could not stay on the court at the end of the game. However, the Knicks were still down, 93-82, with 3:07 remaining, when this happened.
Anthony Morrow would make the Nets 15th 3-pointer with 1:30 left to seal the win for New Jersey. Lin would make a three followed by a deep Novak two-pointer to make the score 98-89, but it would be too little too late as they would lose by eight points.
The Nets likely will not be able to have a game where they make 15 of 31 3-pointers again so this win can be considered lucky for New Jersey. However, the Knicks need to do a better job defending the 3. They also did not take as many high percentage shots in this game, and that combined with Melo playing in his first game after his injury, led to shooting 40 percent.
Lin dominated the game statistically once again as he finished with 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. He was able to score in many ways while setting up his teammates for easy shots. However, the only negative is that he only shot 7-18. Fields had another solid game scoring 10 points while pulling down 10 rebounds.
In his third game back with the team, Stoudemire had 17 points, four boards, two assists and a few drives to the basket that he would often show during the first half of last season. If he could return to how he played then that would make the team much better.
The Knicks will play the Hawks, on Wednesday, at MSG. Atlanta is 19-13 and that game will be followed by playing the Heat in Miami so that will be a challenging two game stretch for Lin and the Knicks.