May 21, 2022

Brooklyn Nets Defeat New York Knicks 110-104

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez muscling out his twin brother New York Knicks center Robin Lopez Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez muscling out his twin brother New York Knicks center Robin Lopez Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Brook Lopez won the battle of the brothers; Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the ghost of Joe Johnson returned

The Brooklyn Nets took advantage of New York Knicks minus forward Carmelo “Melo” Anthony on Wednesday night and beat the Knicks 110-104, snapping a season-high 10-game home losing streak. It was the Nets’ third straight home victory over the Knicks.

In a game with lots of story lines, first is Nets’ interim coach Tony Brown’s first victory overall. Brown inherited the interim coach position on Sunday when former Nets head coach Lionel Hollins lost his position.

Perhaps, the Nets going into this game believed that they could win, Melo or no Melo, considering they have won five of the last six games against the Knicks. Perhaps, it was a new head coach with a new philosophy and new demeanor, but the Nets seemed to play with more energy and more swagger.

Bojan Bogdanovic came off the bench in the first quarter on three-point fire; knocking down 3 three-pointers in three minutes 11 seconds of play. Overall, Bogdanovic scored 14 points and four rebounds in just under 23 minutes of playing time.

Nets center Brook Lopez won the battle of the brothers, as he was more productive than his brother Robin Lopez. In 29:32 minutes of play, Brook scored 20 points, five assists, and eight rebounds to Robin’s nine points and 12 rebounds in 30:40 minutes of play.

Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Shane Larkin, who didn’t start in place of injured Jarrett Jack, put up 17 points, five assists, and two rebounds. Joe Johnson, who is still the subject of trade rumors and looked like the Joe Johnson of previous seasons, he made two key jumpers in the final 2 minutes and finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Point guard Wayne Ellington chipped in 10 points, two assists, and two rebounds.

The electricity in the air at the Barclays Center was palpable. Celebrity row actually had celebrities. R&B singer Maxwell was in the house promoting his upcoming concert with rapper Nas. New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who was cheered at the opening of the Barclays Center, was roundly booed; probably by disappointed Giants fans. Even former Knicks player Andrea Bargnani got booed, but surprisingly, not Shane Larkin another former Knick. At times, there was a battle of the fans, as Knicks fans made their presence known. Nets fans may have been outnumbered, but most of the evening, they were not shrinking violets.

"Games like this, it's going to help turn our fan base around," Brown said. "If we continue to play in this kind of fashion, we'll fill the seats, but we've got to show them first. It'll take time, but tonight was a good start."

In defeat, Knicks forward Derrick Williams came off the bench and led all scorers and tied his career high 31 points. Other Knicks players scoring in double digits were Arron Afflalo with 18 points; Jose Calderon added 16 points and wonder-kid Kristaps Porzingis, who shot just 5 for 17, chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"On nights like this when we don't have (Anthony), I can't have a shooting night like this," Porzingis said. "I've got to step up. I've got to score the ball more."

Looks like the stars aligned for the Nets.

Next up for the Nets will be the Portland Trailblazers on Friday.

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