Brooklyn Nets: 5 takeaways from a goring at the Garden

Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets came out Monday night throwing haymakers, but after the initial flurry the New York Knicks cruised to a 115-96 win. Here are 5 takeaways.

The Brooklyn Nets came out strong early Monday night, taking a nine-point lead in the first quarter, but when the tank emptied, the New York Knicks seized control from there and blowing out the Nets for a 115-96 victory at Madison Square Garden.

New York (2-5) snapped a five-game losing streak and handed Brooklyn (2-5) its third straight loss.

This was one of those games you look at on the schedule and are immediately concerned about — the Nets coming in on the second night of a back-to-back in the home arena of a team that hadn’t played for three days.

But this wasn’t so much a schedule loss for the Nets as it was a loss where they just got away from what worked early.

Brooklyn sizzled out of the gate with a 14-5 opening burst in the first 2:48, hitting 4-of-6 from 3-point range as the ball was moving crisply and the Nets were particularly taking advantage of drive-and-kick actions to get shooters open.

And just as quickly as it began, it ended. The offense stalled as the driving stopped and the motion became slow, meandering jogs across the top of the defense. The 3-point attempts started being left short, with less space to take them.

It was like watching a wind-up toy slowly run out of steam.

After the initial flurry of 3-pointers, the Nets missed their last nine attempts of the first quarter and New York came back to tie the game by the break.

Shabazz Napier hit a 3 for Brooklyn early in the second quarter, but the Nets missed their final eight attempts of the half from long range and wound up trailing 52-44 at the break.

The game got away from them in the third quarter. New York scored the first nine points of the second half and took their biggest least midway through the period when Damyean Dotson converted an and-one opportunity to make it a 75-50 game.

The Nets did make it mildly interesting in the fourth quarter, getting as close as 11 before the Knicks mounted one final run to put the game away.

Brooklyn came in as the NBA’s second-best 3-point shooting team, but shot just 11-for-38 from deep (28.9 percent) on the night and hit only 40.5 percent (34-for-84 overall).

It figures that on the first night all season the Nets really took care of the basketball, recording a season-low 10 turnovers, they couldn’t shoot a lick most of the night.

In a familiar theme, however, New York absolutely annihilated Brooklyn on the glass, outrebounding the Nets 53-32 and taking a whopping 29-12 edge on second-chance points.

In a game where the bench outscored the starters, 61-35, it’s not a shocker that Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 17 points, with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson chipping in 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Caris LeVert had his first single-digit performance of the season, leading the team with five assists, but finishing with only four points on 2-for-11 shooting. Jarrett Allen blocked two shots, as did Hollis-Jefferson and Dinwiddie.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 25 points, recovering from a bloody mouth he sustained when taking a charge from RHJ in the first half, and also dishing eight assists. Enes Kanter came off the bench for 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Noah Vonleh grabbed 10 boards.

Brooklyn returns home for its next three games, beginning Wednesday night when the Nets host the Detroit Pistons. Here are five takeaways from Monday’s defeat.