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Nets start off Sean Marks era with a 109-98 over the New York Knicks

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Brooklyn Nets are undefeated in the Sean Marks era.

With all the drama OFF the court for the Nets this past week, like the unveiling of the new practice facility and the hiring of new GM Sean Marks, it's almost forgotten that the Nets actually have basketball games to play.

The Nets won their first game following the All-Star break and defeated the New York Knicks, 109-98, Friday night at Barclays Center. Brook Lopez was the star of the night with 33 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

The Nets improved to 15-40 on the season and won their third game in February, the same amount of wins they had in January. The Knicks, meanwhile, have won only one game since January 20. The Nets have won four during that span.

It was an ugly start to the second half of the season for the Nets. They allowed the Knicks to score 32 points in the first quarter, which happened to be their first 30-point quarter since January 26. Luckily, Brook Lopez scored 13 in the second quarter and brought the Nets within two by the end of the half.

The Nets rode Lopez in the third quarter and scored 34 points in the quarter to take a 14-point lead. But as we know, things can never be easy with the Nets as the Knicks went on a 9-0 run that carried over into the fourth quarter and made it just a four-point game.

A 14-point lead was down to four with 10 minutes left. Ugh.

How would the Nets respond you ask? With a 13-0 run that put them up 17 late in the fourth. Brook Lopez was torching his brother and there was no doubt that the Nets had this game. Oh yeah, and Bojan Bogdanovic was pretty spectacular.

He hit on 4 of his 5 three-pointers and scored 16 crucial points off the bench.

The "vibe" is better, said Lopez.

"We’re overall very confident the right moves have been made,’’ said Brook Lopez, who tied a season-high in points. "Yeah, no question [the vibe is better]. We felt we came out well after the break, had two great practices in our new facility and we felt like it was a good time to play against the Knicks.’’

Meanwhile, Thaddeus Young chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds, Donald Sloan 14 points and 10 rebounds and Joe Johnson with 12 points, six assists and six rebounds. Other than Bogdanovic, the bench combined for just 10 points.

The Nets committed only seven turnovers to 26 assists and hit on 8-of-16 three-pointers. The Knicks committed 16 turnovers to 20 assists. Carmelo Anthony led the blue and orange with 22 points, while rookie stud Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 16 points.

But post-game, both were not happy.

"That’s very hard to stop," Porzingis said of the Nets strategy. "When Brook gets going like that he’s a really good player. And they have shooters from outside, so you really can’t help that much knowing they have shooters that will make shots. It was a really good game for them. It was hard to stop them."

"We can’t be giving away games like this," Anthony said. "It’s crunch-time now. We have [25] more games left, and [Friday] was a game that we had an opportunity to go get, and we felt like we were going to go get, and we could have got this game. But we didn’t."

Things are rather interesting in New York basketball... for all the wrong reasons of course. The Knicks, who also don't have their own pick, have lost their last 11 of 12 games and are now 23-33. At least their fans can't dance on the Nets' grave this season.

Next up: Charlotte Hornets, Sunday at 6 p.m.

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