clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Knicks vs. Nets: "The Return of Deron Williams"; Brooklyn embarrasses New York, 110-99

New, comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

BROOKLYN -- The Brooklyn Nets are coming off a disappointing 98-91 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, a game in which the Nets squandered their opportunities late and failed to score for the last 1:28 of the game. Friday night, the Nets welcomed their crosstown rival New York Knicks in the first battle of New York for the 2014-2015 season. It was certainly a game to remember as the Nets controlled the tempo from start to finish and embarrassed the Knicks in Brooklyn, 110-99.

"The Deron Williams game". How does that sound? It's been a long time coming, but for the first time since December 10th, 2013, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez both scored 20 or more points in a game.  And it was the first time since April 12, 2013, at the end of the first season in Brooklyn, that Williams, Lopez and Joe Johnson had each scored at least 18 points.

The Nets were led by Williams who finished with 29 points and six assists. Williams moved quick like his days in Utah and shot like his final year in New Jersey, single handedly outplaying every defender the Knicks brought to contest him. Williams' grittiness to get into the paint opened up the entire perimeter for Brooklyn, as they finished shooting a stellar 58% from three point range and 51% from the field.

If it wasn't Williams, it was most likely Brook Lopez. Lopez finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and two blocks on 6-10 shooting. Joe Johnson also chipped in 18 points on 6-13 shooting, but a hefty seven rebounds from Johnson sticks out most in terms of doing more with his game than just scoring. Mirza Teletovic also continued his hot shooting, finishing the night with 18 points on 6-10 shooting.

Coach Lionel Hollins couldn't have asked for a better defensive effort from his squad. They held Carmelo Anthony to 19 points on a dreadful 5-20 shooting. Tim Hardaway Jr. was second in line for the team from Manhattan with 16 points on 5-12 shooting. As a team, the Knicks were held to just 41% shooting from the field.

After the game, Lionel Hollins recognized Williams' aggressive game.

"He let the flow come and then at the end he started attacking the basket when they weren't really expecting him to. Then he got in the post and we had Joe [Johnson] be in that position one time, we've had big Brook [Lopez] be in that position, we've had Mirza. When you get to feel and feeling good, you know it's difficult for anyone to guard you at that particular point after you've gotten hot."

Deron was also asked by a reporter if he's back to having fun. He replied by saying, "Yup. We were having fun tonight, it's fun when you win, share the ball and we were doing that tonight."

"He let the flow come," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said of Williams, "and then at the end, he started attacking the basket when they weren't expecting him to drive to the basket."

Hollins described the Nets deep shooting as "spectacular."

"I thought that kept us in the lead. Every time they made a run we'd hit a 3," Hollins said.

Quarter by quarter summary:

The Nets got off to just the start they needed. It was a slow paced beginning, but the Nets were able to pull out their best first quarter of the young season. They shot an astounding 61% from the field, and an even more impressive 87% from three. The Nets' big three of Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez combined for 20 points on 8-13 shooting. Meanwhile, the Knicks looked extremely disheveled on the offensive side, shooting 32% from the field. The Nets were up 30-20 after one.

If you want a good depiction of how the first half went, here's a stat to throw out there: At one point, the Nets were 7-9 from three, but 4-9 from the free throw line through the first six minutes of the second quarter. Metaphorically speaking, the Nets were playing at a high level, but weren't capitalizing on the small things that could've given them a bigger lead. Still, there was plenty of basketball to be played in the half.

Plenty of Nets basketball that is.

The Nets took complete control during the late stages of the quarter, most notably behind Mirza Teletovic's nine-second quarter points. He finished the half with 12 points on 4-6 shooting. Along with Teletovic, Brook Lopez was a force all over the court. He defended the paint extremely well and to go with his 13 points, he grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots. The Nets as a whole finished the half shooting 46% from the field and 67% from three. As they always say, "you live and die by the three", and the Nets were certainly living in this one.

Oh and by the way, the Nets finished the half having shot 15-20 from the free throw line. That's 11-11 within the last six minutes.

As for the Knicks, it was a different story. Their superstar player in Carmelo Anthony was the only player in double figures with 10 points on 2-7 shooting. The Knicks as a team shot 35% from the field and looked out of sync for most of the first half.

The score at the half: Nets 55, Knicks 42.

It was the same story in the third quarter for Brooklyn. The balance of scoring was extremely narrow, but the big players continued to make the big plays; Deron Williams in particular.

Williams' third quarter effort was a flash of the past, crossing over defenders and getting to the hole at will, forcing fouls and sucking the defense into the paint, allowing Brooklyn to shoot wide open threes at will; 10-of-15 to be exact. Williams was headed into the fourth quarter with 25 points and six assists in 31 minutes of action, with 12 of the 25 points being scored in the fourth quarter.

It was the same story for Carmelo Anthony, who continued to score, but at an extremely inefficient rate. He was 5-19 from the field with the Nets' defense consistently attacking with double teams. Amare Stoudemire was one of the few consistent Knicks with 14 points on 6-12 shooting through three quarters.

The Nets led 86-68 heading into the fourth quarter.

Through all the injuries and tough time, FINALLY something everybody has waited for a long time to hear: Early in the fourth quarter, Brook Lopez scored his 20th point of the evening, being the first time since December 10th, 2013 that both Deron Williams and Brook Lopez scored 20+ points in a game. This was a night to remember for Nets fans, as "Brooooklyn" chants reigned down from all over the arena. What was said to be a 50/50 fan split, turned into a 100% home advantage for the Nets.

The Knicks went on to outscore Brooklyn 31-24 in the fourth quarter, but it meant very little. The Knicks finished the game having shot 41% from the field and 42% from three.

Final score: Nets 110, Knicks 99.

As D-Will said, post-game...

"It's fun when you win." @dwill8 with a stellar game vs the Knicks tonight. Game leading 29pts. #WeAreBrooklyn #Nets

A video posted by Brooklyn Nets (@brooklynnets) on

The Nets will go up against the Orlando Magic -- Sunday, 3:30 PM.

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