On Wednesday night, the Nets were defeated by the New York Knicks by a final score of 97-95 in overtime.
The Skinny: With Amar’e Stoudemire out of the Knicks’ lineup for three weeks with a knee injury, Tyson Chandler leaving in the opening minutes of this game with a knee strain opened the paint for Joe Johnson to drive to the hoop. Carmelo Anthony missed his first seven shots, which allowed Deron Williams – who made three three-pointers early – to take over and give the Nets the lead. C.J. Watson continued his strong play off the bench, but the Knicks were hot to start and close the second quarter, which gave them the lead at half. Both teams came out cold in the third quarter, but Anthony started heating up from the outside. The Nets’ second unit, led by Tyshawn Taylor and Andray Blatche, orchestrated a 17-3 late fourth quarter run to regain the lead and force the game into overtime. After not making a shot during regulation, Steve Novak drilled two three-pointers in overtime. MarShon Brooks had a chance to tie the game late, but he missed a layup though he thought he was fouled.
High Scorers: Williams led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting in 27:22 on the floor. Chris Copeland, fighting for a bench spot, led the Knicks with 16 points on 5-of-12.
Key Stats: Knicks’ 35-year-old rookie guard Pablo Prigioni had more assists (11) than the entire Nets team (eight). The Knicks had five players in double figures and relied on 51 points from their bench in the victory.
Who Was Hot: Kris Humphries turned in a solid performance with seven points and seven rebounds. Watson scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting in 15:25. Taylor was great off the bench, scoring 10 points in just 13:35 on 5-of-8 shooting. For the Knicks, Raymond Felton scored 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting and added five assists. Ronnie Brewer, who will open the season as the Knicks’ starting shooting guard, played well defensively and contributed 12 points. Mychel Thompson contributed 13 points off the bench as well.
Who Was Not: Brook Lopez had a tough night. He didn’t make a field goal until the third quarter, and he recorded five fouls in his first 23 minutes. He also struggled defensively, allowing Felton – who is nearly a foot shorter than Lopez – to weave through the paint all night. Though he finished with 15 points, Anthony shot just 4-of-13 from the field.
Fun Fact: The Nets played their final preseason game in their former home, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the current home of the NHL’s New York Islanders. Ironically, earlier in the day on Wednesday, the Islanders announced that they’d be moving to Barclays Center, the current home of the Nets, as part of a 25-year lease beginning with the 2015-2016 season.
Jim Mancari, ContributorThis one took a little longer than planned, but I’m sure everyone is glad the preseason is over. Tough call at the end there on Brooks, who really was hacked.
The Nets closed out the preseason with a record of 3-3, but the team lost three straight after winning the first three. The defense still has plenty of work to do, but hopefully the intensity increases once the games start to matter.
The Knicks’ bench was extremely fired up all night even though it was just a preseason game. Expect these teams to develop a great rivalry not only this season but also in the coming years.
Brooklyn will have one week to prepare for a rematch of Wednesday’s game, except it counts the next time these two teams meet. The Nets will host the Knicks Thursday, Nov. 1 at Barclays Center for the first-ever regular season game in franchise history.
Brooklyn native Marv Albert will broadcast the game, televised nationally at 7 p.m. on TNT as part of the NBA’s opening night double-header. The Oklahoma City Thunder take on the San Antonio Spurs in the second game.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.