Nets fans can now breathe a sigh of relief.
In what turned out to be a classic “Battle of the Boroughs” thriller, the Nets defeated the Knicks for the second time this season.
For the majority of the game, the Brooklyn Nets held a modest lead against their cross-town rival in the New York Knicks. But, like seemingly every Nets game in recent memory, the game came down to its final minutes.
The Nets led by eight with under three minutes remaining, but a stagnant offense led to easy baskets for the Knicks. New York made a barrage of contested threes to get the deficit down to just a single point with 1:21 left in the game.
Fortunately, Spencer Dinwiddie — who led Brooklyn with 30 points — made a clutch layup, and Joe Harris stepped up on the very next possession with a clutch layup of his own. Harris’s two late free throws all but iced the game for Brooklyn. Despite scoring just 13 points, Harris made his baskets when the lights shined brightest.
And when needed most, Brooklyn’s defense stepped up to help secure the win in the “world’s most famous arena.”
The Nets got to the line at an impressive rate on Sunday night, going 27-34 (79.4 percent). Brooklyn also limited turnovers to 11 — even though that is still too many. Despite shooting just over 40 percent, the Nets simply found ways to outsmart and outscore the woeful Knicks.
Still, the Nets reached another feat — for the first time in 120 games, the team failed to score 20+ bench points.
In fairness, Brooklyn is starting two bench players — Dinwiddie and Garrett Temple — in place of the injured Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert. Irving missed his fifth consecutive game with a shoulder injury, and he will remain out at least the next two games.
The Knicks were also playing without R.J. Barrett on the second half of a back-to-back, the No. 3 overall pick. Barrett has impressed in his time as a Knick, and the Nets did not have to feel his impact.
In the teams’ first meeting this year, the Nets defeated the Knicks on Oct. 25 behind a 26-point performance from Irving. In what was Brooklyn’s first victory of the season, Irving also drilled the game-winning three.
After struggling in Monday’s embarrassing loss to a depleted Pacers team, the Brooklyn Nets fell to 5-8. Now, the Nets have won three straight — beating the Hornets, Kings, and Knicks — bringing the team back to .500 (8-8).
Brooklyn squares off against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on the second half of back-to-back Monday at 7 p.m. EST. Following the Cavs game, the Nets and Celtics will have a home-and-home, with games on Wednesday (@ BOS) and Friday.
The Nets will continue to be without Irving and LeVert, but the dominant play from Dinwiddie and the stepping up of Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen have Brooklyn looking to continue its recent streak.
The stats: 30 PTS, 7-17 FG, 3-8 3PT, 13-14 FT, 4 REB, 4 AST, 35 MIN
Spencer Dinwiddie is leading the Nets in Kyrie’s absence, averaging over 20 points since taking over as the starter.
Tonight was no different.
Dinwiddie’s 30 points propelled the Nets to victory, scoring 19 of his 30 points in the first half. He has been everything and more for Brooklyn since Irving’s injury.
Dinwiddie now has five straight games with 20+ points, a career record.
The stats: 13 PTS, 4-13 FG, 3-8 3PT, 2-2 FT, 1 REB, 1 AST, 2 TO, 29 MIN
Coming off a 22-point performance (5-7 3PT) against the Kings on Friday, Joe Harris scored 0 points in the first half. His real impact came later on, when he provided a boost in the second half with three 3-pointers.
Harris’s four points down the stretch helped seal the Nets’ eighth win of the season, and his inbounds pass to end the game was Dinwiddie-approved.
Thats how you end a game 🧠
Joe Harris inbounded the ball off a Wayne Ellington to let the clock run out and get the win. pic.twitter.com/UGee4HofRW
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 25, 2019
The stats: 18 PTS, 5-9 FG, 8-11 FT, 10 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 32 MIN
Jarrett Allen has stepped his game up to a brand new level over the last few weeks.
Allen leads the league in field goal percentage, and he’s rebounding at a career-high number. On Sunday night, Allen recorded another double-double, lift his game to an impressive degree.
Allen deserves national media attention for how he has played and dominated opposing big men as of late.
It is exciting to see him blossom during this stretch.
The stats: 6 PTS, 2-3 FG, 2-2 FT, 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 16 MIN
DeAndre Jordan has struggled over the first weeks of the season.
With Allen entrenched as the starting center, Jordan has thrived in his now defined role as Brooklyn’s back-up big man.
In his return to MSG, Jordan — like his fellow bench players — failed to get much going on offense. Jordan matched up against Mitchell Robinson — who protects the rim with the best of them.
Jordan protects the rim as well.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) November 25, 2019
Jordan played just 16 minutes, mainly resulting from Allen’s strong performance.
On Monday night, Jordan will have a chance to bounce back against the struggling Cavs — a team that lost 123-105 to the Knicks on Nov. 18.
The stats: 14 PTS, 6-14 FG, 2-7 3PT, 11 REB, 5 AST, 2 TO, 34 MIN
Taurean Prince has exactly been a model of consistency this season, and he played one of his best games as a Net on Sunday.
But first, Prince’s first-quarter performance was not ideal.
Still, he shined in the way he bounced back to score efficiently, defend and rebound. It was all a sign of Prince’s growth as a player.
Prince notched his fifth double-double of the season, a sign of his increasing versatility.