There’s a reason why Kristaps Porzinigis said, “We like to play Brooklyn.”
The Knicks won their fourth game against the Nets this season, 111-95, Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. It’s the first regular season sweep over the Nets since the 2010-2011 season when they played in New Jersey.
Furthermore, it’s the third game this season when the Knicks defeated the Nets by double digits.
Kristaps Porzingis has averaged 25 points and 6.2 rebounds on 49 percent shooting and 50 percent from 3-point against the Nets this season. In those four games, he scored 30, 29, 13 and 28. He finished with 28 points on 6-of-8 from three on Tuesday.
It’s also Brooklyn’s fourth straight loss and tenth loss in their last 13 games. They’re 18-33 on the season and 0-9 against Atlantic Division opponents. They’ll have a chance to snap that against the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow at Barclays Center.
It was yet another brutal start for the Nets and the third straight game in which the Nets trailed by 25 or more.
The Nets experimented with their lineups after losing all three matchups against the Knicks this season. They tried to shake up the frontcourt by starting Jarrett Allen, but it didn’t make much of a difference. They gave Jahlil Okafor more time, but it didn’t help. They even gave two-way player James Webb III some time to help stretch the floor, but that didn’t work either.
Kristaps Porzingis is Brooklyn’s kryptonite, as are many stretch bigs around the league. He scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half.
The Nets brought it down to eight in the second quarter, but the Knicks finished on a 16-5 run and led by 20 at half. It was ugly. They got to the free throw line only three times and took 19 3-pointers in the first half.
But then, the Nets chipped away as they usually do. They went on an 8-0 run and brought it within 10 in the fourth, but Porzingis hit a 3-pointer to go up 13. The Nets had several chances to get this thing down to single digits but failed to do so.
They finished the night 42 percent the field, 9-of-36 from 3-point with 17 turnovers. The Knicks on the other hand, shot 44 percent from the field and 13-of-26 from 3-point. Along with Porzingis, Enes Kanter manhandled the Nets with 20 points and 20 rebounds.
“They pretty much dominated us,” said Kenny Atkinson who admitted he lit into his charges.
“Obviously the boards were an issue, our  turnovers were an issue. We put them on the line 25 times, and letting Porzingis free at the 3-point line, that’s just not locked into the game plan,” Atkinson added. “Their post game, their inside game, drew a lot of attention. They throw it to Kanter and you’re like, ‘Man, you’d better help.’ ”
But they didn’t.
For Brooklyn, DeMarre Carroll led the team with 13 points and seven rebounds. In extended minutes, Jahlil Okafor grabbed 13 rebounds but shot just 2-of-7 from the field. It was the first since December 2, 2016 that Okafor had 13 rebounds in a game.
D’Angelo Russell continued to struggle, as he finished the night 3-of-11 from the field. He’s shooting 29 percent since returning from injury.
JARRETT ALLEN STARTS
At 19 years and 284 days old, Jarrett Allen received his first start in the NBA just 51 games into his career. Allen became fifth-youngest visiting player to start at the Garden in the last five years. He’s also the second-youngest player to start an NBA game with the Nets, behind only Derrick Favors in 2010.
With Porzingis dominating the Nets all season, Kenny Atkinson was ready for a lineup change. He gave the young fellow a go and finished with 12 points on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, his fourth straight game in double figures.
JAHLIL OKAFOR GAINS ATKINSON PRAISE
“You felt his girth and width [on defense],” Atkinson said post-game. “He’s got great hands. Thirteen rebounds, that’s a good sign tonight. We all see it; he’s gotten into much better shape. It’s really helping him so good to see him getting some minutes tonight.”
And just as he did in December after Okafor joined the Nets, Atkinson discussed the possibility of a Twin Towers lineup using his two young bigs, suggesting that Okafor could start.
Okafor told the media he’s happy with his progress.
“It’s very encouraging,” Okafor said. “I’m doing the right thing every day and doing what is asked from me. Hopefully, I can stay on the same trajectory.”
One of our favorite Nets fans, Brooklyn Nets France, came to the U.S. to watch his beloved team —and his favorite player, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson— play vs. the Knicks. Meeting up with RHJ wasn’t easy but a social media campaign brought the two together in a Twitter moment.
Rondae responded with a little of the language of love himself.
pas de problème, merci pour la chemise... haha un peu français— R.HollisJefferson (@IAmCHAP24) January 31, 2018
Does it get much better than that, particularly on the night of a tough loss?
It does not.
What more is there to say? Get healthy soon, Caris and Rondae.
For a different perspective, head on over to Posting and Toasting.
- Game Report: New York Knicks 111, Brooklyn Nets 95 - NBA.com
- Highlights: New York Knicks 111, Brooklyn Nets 95 (Video) - NBA.com
- Whitehead drives and scores (Video) - NBA.com
- Allen gets the bucket (Video) - NBA.com
- Okafor scores (Video) - NBA.com
- Harris scores and one (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Post-Game Plus BKN@NYK (Video) - Chris Shearn & Mike Fratello - YES Network
- Atkinson says he laid into team (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on facing Knicks (Video) - YES Network
- Russell on Nets need to compete (Video) - YES Network
- Allen on staying consistent (Video) - YES Network
- Okafor on personal progress (Video) - YES Network
- Knicks rout Nets again to finish sweep of season series - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Knicks dominate, record season sweep over the Nets - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Jarrett Jack commits to Knicks over playoffs - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Jeff Hornacek may be big winner in Noah-Knicks showdown - George Willis - New York Post
- Exiled Noah won’t be rejoining Knicks anytime in near future - Marc Berman - New York Post
- Jahlil Okafor, Jarrett Allen earning minutes for Nets - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Kristaps Porzingis, Enes Kanter lead Knicks to sweep of Nets - Anthony Rieber - Newsday
- Knicks center Enes Kanter does it all in rout of Nets - Al Iannazzone - Newsday
- Knicks complete season sweep of Nets with 111-95 win behind Kristaps Porzingis’ 28 points - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Joakim Noah’s exile from Knicks appears unlikely to end anytime soon - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Ron Baker leaves Knicks’ win with shoulder injury - Peter Botte - New York Daily News
- Enes Kanter goes for 20-20-5, jokes he ‘may ask for a trade’ if chosen to replace injured Kevin Love on Team LeBron - Peter Botte - New York Daily News
- Knicks crush Nets to sweep season series - Steve Popper - The Record
- Joakim Noah reaching the end with Knicks? - Steve Popper - The Record
- Gritty Knicks cruise past Nets (Video) - Al Trautwig, Alan Hahn and Wally Szczerbiak - MSG Network
- Kanter reflects after monster night (Video) - Rebecca Haarlow - MSG Network
- Knicks complete historic series sweep of Nets (Game Grades) - Elizabeth Swinton - The Brooklyn Game
- BROOKLYN NETS 95-111 NEW YORK KNICKS: THREE TAKEAWAYS - Alex Labidou - Brooklyn Nets