It was one of their lowest points this season when the Brooklyn Nets were blown out by the New York Knicks at the Barclays Center last month, but the Nets look much different six weeks later as they easily handled the Knicks in a 103-80 victory at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
Joe Johnson once again led the Nets with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists. Andray Blatche had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Alan Anderson had 15 and Deron Williams, in his first game back since he had cortisone injections and PRP therapy in both of his ankles, scored 13 with three assists in 27 minutes off the bench.
“We’re putting games together, we’re putting quarters together,” Paul Pierce said. “It’s not just one quarter or two quarters or a half. We’re being more consistent.”
Johnson continued his monster first quarters as he dropped 12 on the Knicks and now has scored 67 points during the first frame in his last six games. The Nets led by 11 after one when they shot 52.2 percent that quarter, they held the Knicks to 41.2 percent shooting and caused them to make seven turnovers.
The Nets continued to build their lead in the second when they shot 50 percent, the Knicks shot just 25 percent. If it wasn’t for the free throw line, where Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith combined to hit a perfect 10-for-10 in the second quarter, the Knicks would have been done by halftime.
The third quarter was when the Knicks had their chance, but they blew it. The Nets only shot 37.5 percent and had twice as many turnovers as the Knicks, but the Knicks only shot 28.6 percent themselves and aside from Melo, they only made three field goals all quarter. That was their opportunity though, they blew it and the Nets cruised to an easy victory.
The Nets have now won seven of their last eight and look like a completely different team than the one that last played the Knicks. They have lost Brook Lopez and won the majority of their games on this streak without D-Will. The difference has been the defense that has only allowed one team to score 100 points on them and that was during a 17-point blowout.