The Brooklyn Nets were prepared to host the New York Knicks – who have not beaten them all season. The Nets came into a game off a loss to the Chicago Bulls. Their 5-game win streak was ended but they were looking to start another one with a victory over the Knicks. In a game that came down to the wire, the win was in favor of the Nets.
Both the Nets and Knicks were neck and neck at the start of the opening quarter. The game was tied three times early on, but Kyrie Irving knocked in a basket from behind the arc. The Nets were then leading by 3. Eventually, Reggie Bullock was sent to the line, and he made all his free throws to put The Knicks up by 2. From then on, each team took turns holding the lead. However, the Knicks would go into the second up 34-31.
At the beginning of the second quarter, the Knicks took an 8-point lead. The rest of the way, the closest the Nets were able to come was within 2. Nonetheless, Jeff Green’s layup tied it at 50 with a little under 4 minutes remaining. Bullock’s personal foul sent Green to the line, and the Nets regained the lead. He redeemed himself, though. Two consecutive three-pointers by Bullock and RJ Barrett put the Knicks up by 5. During the last minute of the half, the Knicks took a 14 point advantage. Soon it was cut to 10, making it a 67-57 game at the break.
The Knicks came into the third with the same momentum and took a 13-point lead. It was not long, though, until that momentum was lost. The Nets were able to shave 6 points of their lead, forcing coach Tom Thibodeau to call a timeout. After talking it over, the Knicks went on a 9-5 run. In the final minute, it was back to a one-point game. The Nets went into the fourth quarter leading the Knicks 89-88.
Early on in the fourth, the Nets were up by 4. After Julius Randle hit both, free throws it was a one-point game yet again. Eventually, the Nets took a 6-point lead with triple digits on the board at the 8:07 mark. It was a close game down the stretch, and the Knicks found themselves within 3, with about 55 seconds remaining in regulation. Alec Burks tied it at 112 with a bucket from downtown. A late foul on Green sent him to the line to shoot 2 with 3.7 seconds left in regulation. The Knicks got the ball back, but Randle’s jumper was unsuccessful. The game would not go into overtime, and the Nets walked out with a 114-112 win.
Irving led the team dropping 40 points. Behind him was Green with 23, and Harris with 16.
Leading the way for the Knicks was Barrett with 22 points. Bullock, Randle, and Rose were not too far behind. Bullock contributed 21 points, and Randle finished with his 4th triple-double of the season. He was able to scoop up 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists. Rose had 16.
Tom Thibodeau has preached playing 48 minutes all season and their downfall tonight was not playing 4 quarters.
“I thought we had some costly turnovers that hurts us, and the offensive rebounding hurt us,” he said. “We played a very good first half,” he continued. “The start of the third was good but we did not close out the third well.”
Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday, April 7th at 7:30 pm. The Knicks will head to Boston to face the Celtics. The Nets will travel to New Orleans to play the Pelicans.