Knicks beat Nets in Brooklyn for first time in four years
NEW YORK (AP) — The Knicks have regained control of New York's NBA basketball rivalry. They even won in Brooklyn again.
Immanuel Quickley had 19 points and Jalen Brunson finished with 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Knicks, who lost nine straight meetings when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were in Brooklyn. The Knicks have easily won all three matchups since the Nets traded the two stars last season.
Now the Knicks have ended a six-game losing streak across town, where they hadn't won since Dec. 26, 2019.
“Everything’s back to normal I guess,” Randle said.
Both teams were playing their first games back after returning from trips to the West, and the Knicks played with far more energy while leading nearly the entire game. DiVincenzo made five 3-pointers and grabbed eight rebounds, while Josh Hart had 10 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.
“We both were on the West Coast. Nobody can use that as an excuse,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “They came back home, we came back home, played a game, same amount of rest, and they were better than us tonight in all facets of the game.”
The Knicks were technically still on their trip, finishing 3-2 after beating the Lakers in Los Angeles on Monday. Coach Tom Thibodeau said his team wouldn't allow the schedule to be an excuse.
“When they tell us the ball’s going up at this time, we’re ready,” Thibodeau said.
Cam Thomas and Cam Johnson each scored 20 points for the Nets, who lost their fourth straight. Mikal Bridges continued to struggle, missing his first eight shots and finishing 4 for 21 for 15 points, after going 4 for 16 on Monday at Utah.
The Nets missed 11 of their first 13 shots and the Knicks had a double-digit lead by the midpoint of the first quarter. They led 60-51 at halftime.
The Knicks opened the second half with an 11-0 burst for a 71-51 lead on Randle's basket. DiVincenzo had a basket and a 3-pointer during the surge, then hit two more 3s in the next few minutes to keep the Nets from building any momentum.
Brooklyn missed its first eight shots of the third quarter, but eventually put together a 16-5 run that cut it to 84-77. The Knicks got the last three baskets of the period to lead 90-77 going to the fourth, then came back with an 8-0 burst that pushed it to 98-77 and put it away.
The Knicks were down to their third starting center of the season after announcing before the game that Jericho Sims, who started all five games since Mitchell Robinson was lost to left ankle surgery that will sideline him at least two months, would miss at least a week after spraining his right ankle Monday.
Isaiah Hartenstein, who has played well as the backup and remained in that role when Robinson went down, moved into the starting lineup Wednesday. He grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Nets played for the 21st time in 27 games this season without Ben Simmons, who will be out until at least January with a pinched nerve in his lower back. The Nets said before the game the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft was showing improved strength in the area, but still doing only individual court work and that his status would be updated again in approximately two weeks.
Knicks: Host Milwaukee on Saturday in the opener of a two-game series before they meet again on Christmas.
Nets: Host Denver on Friday night.
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