As the series moved back to Brooklyn, the Nets established home court.
The Knicks overcame early foul trouble for Tyson Chandler to build a double digit lead in the first quarter, but Brooklyn came storming back and was able to cut the lead to just six points by the end of the frame. New York extended its lead by a point before half time, but the Nets turned up the screws on defense in the second half, holding the Knicks to just 44 points after the break.
By midway through the third quarter, the Nets had already seized the lead. A few Carmelo Anthony jumpers in a row allowed the Knicks to take it back momentarily, but the Nets took it back soon after that. The game stayed close through most of the final period. An Iman Shumpert jumper cut Brooklyn’s lead to 106-105 with just under three minutes left in the game, but that was as close as New York would get for the remainder. Brooklyn outscored New York 11-2 in the last 2:31.
The Nets hung 117 points on New York’s lackadaisical defense behind hot shooting from Jordan Player of the Game Gerald Wallace (10-19, 27 points) and Andray Blathche (8-11, 18 points). They failed to score at least 30 points only in the second quarter. Brooklyn held the rebounding edge for the third straight game, this time outboarding the Knicks 51-38.
Pablo Prigioni had a particularly poor game for the Knicks, shooting just 1-10 from the field and allowing Deron Williams to have his best game of the series. Carmelo had an efficient 29 points on 18 shots, but he failed to impose his will on the proceedings as his team’s offense sputtered in the second half. Chandler was invisible for most of the evening after early foul trouble – he finished with only 4 points and 4 rebounds.
After the game, when a reporter asked Knicks coach Jared Dubin to “Talk about being down 2-1,” he responded: “That’s not a question,” and promptly ended his press conference.