Kyrie Irving
Kathy Willens/AP Photo

A mild altercation resulting in two technical fouls shows that there’s a little bit of juice to this New York Knicks-Brooklyn Nets rivalry.

Any fan of either New York basketball team has to be feeling pretty fired up right now. The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks traded blows for two quarters, and there’s some real chippiness going on in this one.

On a jump ball between Bobby Portis and Kyrie Irving, a scrum breaks out and the referees have to separate the teams. Portis and Taurean Prince were banged for technical fouls.

This wasn’t the only alteration to occur. Marcus Morris committed a hard foul on Rodions Kurucs and heard an earful from Spencer Dinwiddie about it. Of course, Morris didn’t back down, but it was just some trash talking.

Here we go, folks. This is what everyone has been dying to see—the Knicks and the Nets with a legitimate rivalry. We’re not quite at the point where each side wants to kill each other, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Once both teams are back in the playoffs, the real party starts. Until then, competitive regular-season games can be fun too.

The Knicks are managing to keep their heads above water through two quarters. The Nets are abusing the high-pick-and roll to an almost absurd fashion, but a big half from Allonzo Trier is keeping the Knicks within striking distance. The shooting guard has 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting to lead New York.

However, Kyrie Irving—who was at the heart of the initial altercation—is pacing the Nets with 15 points, including 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

Love him or hate him, it’s going to be fun watching that guy play basketball this season. He’s tailor-made for head coach Kenny Atkinson‘s offense and he’s showing it off early and often so far.

At the half, Brooklyn leads 64-51, but the Knicks are still within reach. There’s a long way to go in this game, and this rivalry for that matter.

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