No drama this time. Just a casual night out in the city for the Brooklyn Nets.
After two overtime games in a week and two others decided by two points in the final seconds, the Nets established control early and never let go in a 112-104 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
It was Brooklyn’s second win in two nights after going two weeks without, and ended a string of losses in road games on the second half of back-to-backs that stretched back to December 2015. It also gave the Nets their first sweep of a back-to-back set since April 2017.
Up 11 at the half, the Nets extended their lead in the middle of the third quarter. Up 69-52, back-to-back 3-pointers from Allen Crabbe made it a 75-57 game with 6:33 to go in the quarter. The Knicks hung around beyond some sudden sharp shooting from Damyeaon Dotson, but Spencer Dinwiddie scored Brooklyn’s final seven points of the quarter, punishing the Knicks on switches with rim attacks on the way to a 94-77 lead going into the fourth.
The Knicks got as close as five, with a 15-3 run bringing them within 101-96 with 5:38 to go. But Hollis-Jefferson roared down the lane on a cut to score of a D’Angelo Russell pass, and Russell fed an open Crabbe for a right-wing three that quickly boosted Brooklyn’s lead back to 106-96 with 4:32 to go.
The Nets were balanced across the board, putting five players in double figures while shooting 48.9 percent overall and 50 percent from 3-point range. They also managed a traditional trouble spot against the Knicks, winning the rebounding battle 45-40 one night after outrebounding Toronto, 60-41.
Dinwiddie led Brooklyn with 25 points and added six assists, while Hollis-Jefferson had 20 points and six rebounds. Crabbe had 17 points, making all five of his 3-point attempts. Jarrett Allen posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Russell had 11 assists and Ed Davis grabbed eight rebounds.
The Nets led 56-45 at halftime, jumping on top with an 11-2 run to close the first quarter. Davis had five points in the stretch, with two rebound baskets, as Brooklyn went up 30-22. Just over two minutes into the second quarter, Russell’s floater on a drive gave the Nets their first double-digit lead, 36-26.
After New York closed to within 43-39, the Nets extended their lead to 14 with an 11-1 burst. Hollis-Jefferson, Crabbe and Harris knocked down threes, with Harris giving Brooklyn a 54-40 lead. After Mario Hezonja’s free throw, Allen put back a rebound to give Brooklyn its biggest lead of the first half, 56-41.
The Nets get a rare three-day break before visiting the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, followed by a three-game homestand – the Wizards on Friday, Dec. 14, the Hawks on Sunday, Dec. 16, and the Lakers on Tuesday, Dec. 18.