Kevin Durant’s triple-double, Seth Curry and Edmund Sumner’s outside shooting the difference as the Nets take round one of the battle of the boroughs against the New York Knicks.

The Brooklyn Nets (5-7) defeated the New York Knicks (5-6) by a final score of 112 to 85. Kevin Durant led the way with a triple-double—29 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists. Seth Curry finished with 23 points, including six three-pointers. For New York, Julius Randle finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and RJ Barrett clocked with 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the loss.

Man, was this an ugly game for the Knicks from the tip—they traded missed twos for made Brooklyn threes. Brooklyn’s simple offense created a ton of good looks; the Knicks made it difficult for themselves. This is partly a result of the offense—Brunson, Barrett, and Julius Randle all love to patrol the same areas of the floor. Tonight, the combination of a non-shooter in Jericho Sims, and lack of early spacing from Cam Reddish resulted in an especially clogged Knicks offense.

The real benefactor in this was Randle. The former All-Star carried the struggling New York offense, tallying 22 of the team’s 15 first-quarter points. With Kevin Durant as his main defender, Randle was effective right away, knocking down four three-balls. Sadly, he couldn’t prevent the double digit lead.

The second quarter didn’t inspire much confidence either. Sure, New York tried Obi Toppin and Julius Randle together for a bit, and even combined Immanuel Quickley with Jalen Brunson. But, the Knicks still couldn’t put it together defensively. The Nets got easy looks thanks to KD’s timely passing and guys like Joe Harris, Nicholas Claxton, and Edmond Sumner finding the cracks in New York’s defense. Their lead was 20 by halftime.

The Second Half

It was largely an even fight after the break, but with the Nets already up 20, it didn’t matter. Brooklyn continued pressing for much of the third quarter, and entered the fourth with a 20-point lead. Kevin Durant put the finishing touches on a great performance while the shooting of Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, and Seth Curry kept New York from inching closer. The Knicks missed shots, but Brooklyn did an excellent job forcing turnovers, grabbing offensive rebounds, and knocking down threes.

The final 24 minutes weren’t without intrigue for the Knicks. Head coach Tom Thibodeau experimented with the rotation and lineups, especially the backcourt combinations. Nothing seemed to stick, not Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley, or Quickley and Brunson. Brooklyn took advantage of everything.

Tom Thibodeau will have to rally the troops after this tough loss—the Nets never needed their second gear. We’re on to the game notes.

Game Notes

  • While I think both should be in the rotation long-term, this was a rough night for Cam Reddish and Jericho Sims. Sims (seven points, six rebounds) was stuck in a poor matchup. Reddish (zero points on 0-of-7 shooting ) missed some important outside shots.
  • Jalen Brunson struggled. No question about it. This season Brunson has floated between creator and creative, crafty rim scorer. Tonight? He aggressively hunted shots and got stifled at the rim multiple times by Nicholas Claxton and Kevin Durant. It was rough.
  • Immanuel Quickley has to start making shots. Tonight, he went 0-of-7 and had three fouls within his first 11 minutes on the floor. His game looked rough on both sides and that was only exacerbated by his poor shooting.

The Knicks return home to Madison Square Garden to face the Detroit Pistons (3-9) on Friday, November 11th. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

»Read: Ball Movement has the Knicks’ Offense Humming

»Read: The Anomaly: What to Make of Knicks’ Wonky Play

»Read: Breaking Down the Great Obi Toppin Debate