They blew it. Of course they blew it. The Brooklyn Nets are experts in blowing it. Up by five points after three, Brooklyn allowed the New York Knicks to outscore them by ten points in the fourth quarter to give them the win. The Knicks are now 2-0 in the Battle of the Boroughs.
The leading scorer for the game was New York’s Kristaps Porzingis with 19 points. For Brooklyn, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who started over Trevor Booker, led the team with 16 points. Carmelo Anthony was relatively ineffective on the night as he shot 6-22 and scored only 15 points.
Brooklyn had a really good chance to come away with the win until they allowed Kristaps to nail a three and get a slam dunk late in the game. Brooklyn really needs to do something about their fourth quarter issues because there is a good chance they could be up near 20 wins if they did not have so much darn trouble in the fourth.
A difference in this game was the fouls and free-throws. The Knicks attempted 31 free-throws, luckily only making 19 of them, compared to Brooklyn which only shot 16 on the night and made 11 of them. Another issue, as usual, is three-point shooting. Luckily, Brooklyn kept the attempts under 30, but they still shot 20% with a 5-25 mark. Brooklyn really needs to do a better job of finding better shots closer to the basket.
Grading the Players
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert both get A’s for the game. Hollis-Jefferson got his first start in a very long time and he played pretty well. RHJ led the team with 16 points but he also brought down an impressive eight rebounds, dished three assists, and blocked a shot. It is clear RHJ is still on his tear and that he really wants to keep his spot in the starting lineup.
Caris LeVert played a solid 27 minutes off of the bench and scored 10 points on 4-9 shooting. The rookie also had four rebounds, two assists, and two steals. LeVert is really coming along and he is playing some really quality minutes. He came into this game at the six minute mark or so in the first quarter. It may be sooner than later that he gets the chance to start.
Trevor Booker gets a B+. Coming off of the bench, Booker had 12 points and eight rebounds. If he had started, there is a good chance he would have gotten an A with the double-double. There is a good chance Booker heads back to the starting lineup in the near future.
Randy Foye gets a D on the night. In his start, Foye shot 2-5 for four points. Foye had four rebounds but failed to get an assist. Brooklyn relies on Foye to run the point at times and the fact that he had no assists is relatively concerning. Someone like Foye needs to contribute more if he wants to remain a starter.
Brooklyn will stay at home to take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. The Knicks will have two days off, go back to Manhattan and await the defending champion Cavaliers for a bout Saturday night.