Spencer Dinwiddie
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets took control early and delivered a resounding victory against their crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks.

Danny Small

NEW YORK, NEW YORK—The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets squared off in their penultimate meeting this season. The crosstown rivals split their first two games of the season. The Nets secured a last-second victory in their first meeting, courtesy of a Caris LeVert floater.

But their second meeting featured the energized Knicks and a listless Nets. Their third meeting finished in a similar fashion, but roles were reversed. This time, the Nets entered Madison Square Garden and controlled the pace for most of the game.

The Nets clearly aren’t over their fourth quarter jitters yet, because they let the Knicks creep back into the game. That being said, a fourth-quarter run from a young Knicks lineup featuring Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson wasn’t enough to overcome a 17-point lead through three quarters.

Brooklyn didn’t look like they were in complete control in the fourth, but their early dominance gave them enough of a cushion to survive. Winning quarters was a theme for the Nets on Saturday as they outscored the Knicks in each of the first three quarters.

In terms of bright spots for the Knicks, the aforementioned Dotson provided a spark off the bench and Enes Kanter anchored the starting unit with his usual double-double. He finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

The Nets had far more to feel good about after the final buzzer sounded. Spencer Dinwiddie finished the night with 25 points and six assists. He was attacking the basket at will and showing off why he’s in the far-too-early conversation for Sixth Man of the Year.

His backcourt running mate, D’Angelo Russell had a modest night scoring, but he was facilitating for his teammates all night long. Russell finished with nine points, but led Brooklyn with 11 assists. Furthermore, Russell did an excellent job taking care of the basketball, only turning the ball over twice.

Kanter wasn’t the only big man to record a double-double on the night. Budding star Jarrett Allen put up 14 points and 12 rebounds to go along with two blocks. His progress over the past two seasons has been exciting to watch. He’s turning into an excellent rim-running center and he’s a guy that Kenny Atkinson confidently calls his “center of the future.”

The Nets won both games of their Friday-Saturday back-to-back after suffering through a pitiful eight-game losing streak. The Knicks have lost five of their last six and they drop to a season-worst 11 games below .500.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.