The Brooklyn Nets on Friday night closed the preseason on a high note, beating the New York Knicks 113-107 at Madison Square Garden. Here are 5 takeaways.
The Brooklyn Nets had to hang on Friday night to thwart a late run by the New York Knicks — because, hey, everyone makes a run — but closed the preseason with a 2-2 record after escaping Madison Square Garden with a 113-107 victory.
Brooklyn led 71-50 midway through the third quarter and was up by 19 at 96-77 with 7:42 remaining in the game before the Knicks — led by the unlikely duo of Mario Hezonja and Luke Kornet — brought New York (3-2) as close as four points in the final minute.
Hezonja scored 12 of his 14 points in the final 6:41 and Kornet — a second-year undrafted free agent who played on a two-way deal with the Knicks last season — drained three 3-pointers down the stretch.
Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 19 points, one of eight Brooklyn players in double figures on a night when coach Kenny Atkinson shortened the bench and used just nine players in all.
The Nets topped 50 percent shooting for the first time in the preseason, hitting 50.6 percent overall (40-for-79) and Brooklyn finally got the deep ball to drop after a cold start.
The Nets hit just one of their first eight attempts from long range before getting hot, finishing 15-for-37 (40.5 percent).
Turnovers were still a concern, but not nearly as big a one as it was in Wednesday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors, when Brooklyn turned it over 34 times. Against the Knight, the Nets turned it over 18 times, leading to 21 points. New York committed 12 turnovers, which led to seven points.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 18 points, Hezonja finished with 14 and Noah Vonleh added 13 with five rebounds. Frank Ntilikina led New York with five assists, Ron Baker had a pair of steals and Mitchell Robinson blocked two shots.
Friday night’s game was as much about who didn’t play as it was who did.
The Nets were without Allen Crabbe (sprained left ankle) and Shabazz Napier (strained right hamstring) because of injuries, but opted to sit DeMarre Carroll, Kenneth Faried, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Dzanan Musa, Theo Pinson and Alan Williams.
For New York, Courtney Lee sat out with a strained neck and Kristaps Porzingis, of course, is still out recovering from surgery to repair a torn left ACL. Joakim Noah hasn’t been with the team since it opened camp and Kadeem Allen missed Friday night for personal reasons.
Brooklyn will be idle until Wednesday, when it opens the regular season against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, where they took a 110-108 overtime decision in a preseason game on Monday.
Here are five takeaways from Friday night’s victory over the Knicks, the second straight preseason win for Brooklyn at Madison Square Garden.