— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 20, 2016
The New York Knicks were exposed by their rivals Brooklyn Nets in an embarrassing road defeat, 109-98.
Brooklyn Nets 109 (15-40)
New York Knicks 98 (23-33)
Madison Square Garden, New York
Full Game Box Score
By Chip Murphy
The first game back from the NBA All-Star break for the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks dispelled any playoff delusions that the Knicks may have had.
The Knicks got off to the hot start that Phil Jackson wanted, leading 32-23 at the end of the first quarter; but were subsequently outscored 83-60 in the next three en route to a crushing 109-98 defeat.
It’s the Knicks seventh straight loss and their 11th in the last 12 games.
New head coach Kirk Rambis went 11 deep tonight, with only the starting five plus Langston Galloway getting more than 20 minutes. It was clear tonight that Rambis is yet to settle on a rotation, but with just 26 games remaining he won’t have much time to tinker with his lineup.
The Knicks uncharacteristically turned the ball over 16 times — they are 7th in the league in turnover percentage — and the Nets were able to translate those opportunities into 21 points.
One common problem all season long that reared its ugly head tonight was weak guard play. Before the Knicks can even think about becoming a playoff team they need to upgrade at the point guard position. Jose Calderon was awful again tonight with just 7 points and 2 assists on 3 for 9 shooting. His time on the court was a nightmare as the point guard was minus-17 in 22 minutes, leading to Rambis benching him in the fourth quarter.
The deciding factor tonight however was Brook Lopez. The star center who prefers to remain under the radar deserves all the credit for putting the Nets on his back tonight, dominating his brother Robin with 33 points and 8 rebounds.
Brook Lopez takes flight https://t.co/C7xjGcqVoD
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) February 20, 2016
Brooklyn made no secret about what their plan on offense was, get the ball to Brook. The Knicks had no answer for him, leading to Lopez scoring an incredible 24 of his points in the paint.
Next up for Brooklyn: 2/21, vs. Charlotte Hornets
Next up for New York: 2/20, vs. Minnesota Timberwolves