Nets fight off their struggles turning the ball over, beat the Knicks 88-85

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

In the fourth and final meeting between the Nets and Knicks, Brooklyn beat New York, 88-85

For the fourth time this season, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks got together, with the Knicks leading the season series 2-1 heading into this afternoon's game. This, the final meeting of the regular season between these two teams wasn't pretty for the Nets, who turned the ball over 19 times, but they managed, on the back of their defense, to beat the Knicks, 88-85.

Kris Humphries (11 points, 13 rebounds), Brook Lopez (14 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks) and Deron Williams (14 points, 12 assists) each had a double-double, while Joe Johnson finished with 25 points.

The two teams got off to a hot start early, with the Nets working the ball into the paint, while the Knicks did what they do best, shoot threes, before getting hit with the inefficiency bug.

Joe Johnson was feeling it in the first, hitting three threes and scoring 11 points, while Brook Lopez made his presence felt on both ends of the floor. He scored five points and grabbed five rebounds, while also blocking a shot, but he had a few non-stat-showing defensive plays in there. Johnson did, however, pick up two fouls in the first quarter, which sent him to the bench early. The Nets, however, carried a 26-24 lead into the second quarter.

In the first half, the Nets struggled with turning the ball over, while not creating enough turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. The coughed the ball over 11 times to just two for the Knicks. Luckily, the Knicks couldn't get anything to fall. They shot 34.9 percent in the first half, as the Nets carried a 47-41 lead into halftime.

Kris Humphries played a great half, scoring nine points and pulling down eight rebounds in 10 minutes. He also had some nice defensive sets, limiting Carmelo Anthony and playing help on the low block with Brook Lopez.

The Nets were terrible in the third quarter, shooting 31 percent from the floor and continuing to turn the ball over far too many times. This allowed for the Knicks to get back into the game and start to pull away. They out-scored the Nets 27-18, at one point going on a 10-0 run, and finishing up the quarter up 68-65.

The bench added a nice little spark in the fourth quarter, with Keith Bogans and C.J. Watson stepping out behind the arc to open up the offense. Still, the Knicks were responding on the other side of the court, working the ball inside to Amar'e Stoudemire.

From there, though, it turned into the Joe Johnson show. He hit back-to-back threes, followed by another long jumper that gave the Nets an 11-2 run in the fourth. With five minutes to play, the Nets had a four-point lead, 83-79.

Both teams went on a sloppy run, with neither scoring a single point in a matter of two minutes, until J.R. Smith buried a jumper to bring the Nets lead down to two points. The Nets still couldn't find the bottom of the basket, as they forced their defense to carry them and keep this game from getting out of hand. The Knicks, however, went on a 7-0 run, as the Nets did not score a single point since the 5-minute mark left in the game.

With 40 seconds remaining and the Knicks down by one point (84-83), the Nets went to Johnson and his hot hand, and he pulled the trigger, hitting a fadeaway jumper to give the Nets a one point lead with 22 seconds remaining.

Again, the biggest area of concern for the Nets was turnovers. They coughed the ball up 19 times, as opposed to the Knicks who only turned it over five times. That's certainly an area they're going to need to address.

Deron Williams went 6-of-7 from the line, ending his free-throw streak at 52 straight.

For more on the Knicks, see: Posting and Toasting

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