Nets Fall 110-97 To Knicks In Last Matchup Of The Season
In what was a close game (at least in the first half) the Nets fall 110-97 to their cross-borough rival Knicks Sunday evening at Madison Square Garden. This ties the series at 2 a piece for the season.
The Nets had a lot of things that went wrong tonight, which led to their loss. However for starters the team’s leading scorer Kyrie Irving sat out as a result of today’s tragic news; the untimely passing of Kobe Bryant. Around 1p.m. Eastern Time Bryant lost his life in a helicopter crash that claimed the life of 8 others as well, including his 13-year old daughter, Gianna Bryant.
A lot of hearts were heavy today not just around the NBA world, but the world as a whole upon hearing the news. Irving’s hearts had to be one of the heaviest outside of Bryant’s family. It’s well known that “The Black Mamba” mentored Irving throughout Irving’s career and the two had a very close relationship both on and off the court. Irving, after making arguably the biggest shot of his career in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, gave all of the credit to Kobe for making him channel his “Mamba mentality.”
Irving was at shoot around earlier before today’s matchup against the New York Knicks when he got the news. He then notified the team that he wouldn’t be able to play and left the Garden.
As a result of Irving’s unavailability Spencer Dinwiddie got the start tonight after coming off of the bench yesterday vs. the 76ers. He had a good game totaling 23 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Brooklyn actually had five players score in double digits though so for the most part scoring wasn’t too much of a problem, at least in the first half. In the second half Dinwiddie was the only player for the Nets to score in double digits with 11 points and collectively the Nets only scored 45 points on 38.9% shooting from the field and 31.2% shooting from behind the arc. The Knicks scored 55 points and two players scored in double digits (Marcus Morris and Julius Randle).
Brooklyn averages 52.3 PPG in the second half and the Knicks average 51.8 PPG.
Another area Brooklyn got beat in was on the boards. Brooklyn is one of the elite rebounding teams in the league, averaging 48.5 RPG, but tonight they only grabbed 34 to the Knicks’ 48. The Knicks especially dominated on the offensive boards, getting twice as many as the Nets. This led to the Knicks also outscoring the Nets in second chance points.
In addition to the inconsistent offense Brooklyn just didn’t have it defensively tonight, letting six Knicks players score in double digits. Julius Randle led the way with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
This was an impressive game for a few different players but much of the talk was about Bryant’s untimely passing. Dinwiddie was also close with the 5x NBA champion.
“I felt like this was the first time that he was looking at me as the basketball player Spencer,” said Dinwiddie. “Where I’m from, for him to tell me that, in his book I’m an All-Star and stuff like that…you don’t hear things like that when you’re me so for him to say that I didn’t need to be selected anymore.”