Blowout at Barclays: Nets get embarrassed by Knicks with 109-98 loss at home

Bruce Bennett

While their was very little to play for in this one, the Knicks manhandled the Nets on their home court in Brooklyn, 109-98. Despite not having Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks were the aggressor all night.

NBA schedule makers were hoping they'd hit a home run with this late April matchup between cross-town rivals. But, the Nets have clinched the playoffs and the Knicks have been eliminated. This game essentially meant very little for both teams, other than the Nets trying to lock up the fifth seed. Of course, the Nets also hoped to kick the Knicks' behind while they're already down. That didn't happen.

Just because there was very little to play for, doesn't mean the Knicks intended to take it lightly. In fact, the Knicks manhandled the Nets in Brooklyn, 109-98, yet another blowout between the two teams. The win for the Knicks means nothing for their playoff hopes, but they do solidify the season series against the Nets, 3-1. The loss keeps the Nets in limbo as far as their playoff seeding, with Wednesday night's game in Cleveland the decider of their fate.

Asked after the game if he is concerned about the Nets' play over the past several games, Jason Kidd responded, "No."  And indeed, the Nets were down three rotation players. Of course, the Knicks had a bigger hole in their lineup.

For the Nets, Alan Anderson, Mirza Teletovic, and Shaun Livingston were all out due to minor injuries and rest. For the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony sat out with a shoulder issue.

The Nets got off to a very poor start in this game. They couldn't seem to stop the Knicks offense, allowing them to shoot 5-8 from three, 8-16 overall. While the Knicks offense was hot, the Brooklyn offense was very cold. They started just 7-20 from the field, trailing the Knicks, 29-18 heading into the second quarter. Eight Knick players scored at least one point, compared to just four players for the Nets.

Paul Pierce scored his 1,000th point this season on the first bucket of the game for Brooklyn. Pierce is the only active NBA player to score 1,000 points in 15 straight seasons. He's just the sixth player in NBA history to do so.

The Nets offense looked better to finish out the half in the second quarter, but continued to struggle on the defensive side. The Knicks finished the half 7-11 from behind the perimeter, outscoring Brooklyn 26-25 in the quarter.

Brooklyn shot just 2-11 from three, proving to be another night when the three ball isn't falling, the Nets offense struggles. Along with the poor shooting, they were sloppy with the basketball. They're coming off a 23 turnover night, Sunday against Orlando, while tonight they had 10 turnovers in just the first half. With playoffs days away, a major component to success is valuing every possession with the ball.

Score at the half: Knicks 55, Nets 43.

Mason Plumlee led Brooklyn with 12 points, while Paul Pierce chipped in 11. The two were the only Nets in double figures. For the Knicks, Amare Stoudemire led the way with 12 points, followed by J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. with 10 apiece.

Quick first half stat: With very little depth for Brooklyn due to the absence of three key assets, Mason Plumlee & Marcus Thornton were the only bench players with any points. They scored a combined 17 points, comparing to the Knicks' 27 points off the bench.

Down 12 to start the third quarter, the Nets had some catching up to do. You'd think that anyway, but instead, it went the complete opposite way. Five minutes into the quarter, the Knicks grabbed a 17 point lead, their largest of the night. Judging from this game, you'd be confused which team was headed to the playoffs.

The Nets offense had very little ball movement, similar to last season, mostly an isolated offensive system in this game. Their 40% shooting was evidence of their poor play against a very poor defensive team. While their offense was worthy of zero praise, their defense was even worse. Evidence of this? Cole Aldrich had a double-double after the third quarter with 10 points and 10 rebounds. It was that bad.

The score was 83-67, in favor of the Knicks.

Jason Kidd unloaded the entire bench to start the fourth. Whether it was a call for energy, or just time to wave the white towel to get the starters some rest, none of it really mattered. The Melo-less Knicks were embarrassing the Nets on their home court yet again. The Knicks went up 98-77 with six minutes remaining. Game over.

Behind the Nets 44% shooting compared to the Knicks 48%, this was the fourth and final blowout between these two teams this season with the Knicks taking three of the four. The Nets sloppy play also contributed to this loss. They gave the ball up 20 times, their second straight game with at least 20 turnovers. Luckily for the Nets, they were the ones headed to the playoffs, not the Knicks.

Final score: Knicks 109, Nets 98.

Marcus Thornton played a solid game with 24 points, followed by Mason Plumlee and his 16 points. Joe Johnson & Paul Pierce combined for 25 points, while Deron Williams scored 10 points, but struggled to assert himself against Raymond Felton and the other Knick guards.

The Knicks bench was the aggressor for them as Shannon Brown, Cole Aldrich, and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined for 43 points off the bench. J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire each scored 14 points in their last game of the season.

The Nets look to avoid a two game losing streak heading into the playoffs as they face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday night in their season finale.

For more on the Knicks, check them out at Posting and Toasting.

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