Bargnani received his second technical foul of the game for jawing with Garnett after the Italian forward made a jumper to put New York up by 30 points early in the fourth quarter.
"I don't understand Italian," Garnett said after the game, according to Grantland.
The New York Daily News reported Bargnani's quippy response: "I wasn't speaking Italian."
The two players received double technical fouls after they were involved in a minor scrap moments earlier.
There wasn't all that much to the incident, which began as the two jockeyed for rebounding position off the ball. Bargnani stumbled as he tried to block out Garnett and it appeared as if he was trying to bring Garnett down with him as he fell to the floor. Garnett shook himself loose and caught himself before he fell, but he moved towards Bargnani in a manner that suggested he wasn't pleased with what had happened.
Players from both teams, Knicks coach Mike Woodson and the game officials stepped in to separate the two players, and the game went on in fairly short order. In addition to the double technicals, Bargnani also received a personal foul on the play.
TNT commentator Charles Barkley wasn't impressed by the exchange.
"Don't they realize we've got stuff to do later," Barkley cracked. "They're not going to fight. There's not a fighter in that group out there."
Bargnani finished with 16 points (on 7-for-13 shooting), two rebounds and three blocks in 28 minutes. Carmelo Anthony scored a team-high 19 points (on 8-for-12 shooting) for the Knicks.
Garnett tallied six points (on 3-for-5 shooting) and six rebounds in 20 minutes. Brook Lopez led the Nets with a game-high 24 points (on 9-for-18 shooting). The Knicks improved to 4-13 and snapped a nine-game losing streak. The Nets fell to 5-14 with the loss.