The knicks winning streak was snapped by the Nets’ outside shooting and Kyrie Irving’s late-game scoring barrage.
The New York Knicks (28-23) come up short “on the road,” falling 122-115 to the Brooklyn Nets (30-19). For the Nets, Kyrie Irving finished with 32 points, six rebounds, and nine assists, while Joe Harris tallied 16 points and four made threes. For the Knicks, Jalen Brunson scored 26 points and dished out four assists, while Julius Randle had a near triple-double- 19 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. The loss snaps New York’s two-game winning streak.
The New York Knicks came into Brooklyn after two of their biggest wins of the season, securing victories over the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. All the while, the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets were coming off one of the worst losses of their season, falling to the 15th-seed Detroit Pistons. Under the bright Brooklyn lights, the Nets quickly took control of the game and never looked back.
Game of Possessions
Turnovers and dominance on the glass quickly separated these two teams early on. The New York Knicks, playing without Mitchell Robinson (fractured finger), were out-hustled on the offensive glass in the first half, allowing for extra possessions for the Nets. Coupled with some incredibly silly turnovers, the Knicks quickly began digging themselves a whole. Brooklyn’s lead, which at one point ballooned to as much as 18 in the first half, would prove too much.
New York’s defense in the first half did a solid job against Brooklyn’s lone star, but not against their role players. Early doubles sent toward Kyrie Irving kept him at bay in the first half but that only allowed Brooklyn’s snipers to get quality looks, resulting in several makes for the likes of Royce O’Neale and Joe Harris. Timely rebounds from Nic Claxton and Day’Ron Sharpe and defensive pressure allowed Brooklyn to dictate the pace of the game, despite the absence of Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons.
Threes Over Twos
Although the Nets showed hustle on the glass, New York dominated the paint, with a 68-34 discrepancy over Brooklyn. But according to math, 3 is more than 2, and the Nets exploited that. The Knicks were outscored 66-30 from three, allowing Brooklyn to maintain their lead, outlasting the occasional Knicks run comfortably. The quality of both teams’ looks differed immensely. From the jump, the Knicks gave up plenty of open threes, quickly allowing sharpshooters Royce O’Neale and Yuta Watanabe to get going.
On the Knicks’ side, the looks weren’t as high quality. Early on, the ball was stagnant as they tried to exploit a Julius Randle mismatch with O’Neale. While Randle (19 points) was able to bully his way through O’Neale, the team as a whole wasn’t as involved. The Nets had 31 assists as a team, while the Knicks had just 19. While Randle and Quentin Grimes struggled to shoot the three, the Knicks continued to chip away at the lead, coming within a possession late in the 4th. However, late-game heroics from Kyrie Irving, scoring 21 of his 32 points in the 4th, put the Knicks away for good.
Despite a fantastic outing from RJ Barrett, who finished with 24 points, the balanced onslaught of the Nets was too much. Immanuel Quickley added X points off the bench. Jalen Brunson finished with a quiet, game-high 26 points and a team-high +/- of 8.
Mitchell Robinson (fractured finger) did not play. Kevin Durant (sprained knee) did not play. Ben Simmons (sore knee) did not play either.
The New York Knicks will travel back home to Madison Square Garden to host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (23-26) Tuesday at 7:30 PM ET.