Nets 104, Knicks 95

Not only did the New Jersey Nets win, they had somewhat of a

laugher.

See what happens when the NBA’s worst team gets its starting

five together for the first time since the second game of the

season.

Brook Lopez had 21 points and 14 rebounds and the Nets snapped a

10-game losing streak with a 104-95 blowout of the New York Knicks

on Wednesday night.

“I looked down at the bench at one point and there must have

been seven or eight guys in sweats,” Lopez said. “It was good to

see. It was crowded unfortunately, it was uncomfortable.”

The Nets had a lot of comfort on the court with a lineup that

included Lopez, Yi Jianlian (22 points), Chris Douglas-Roberts

(17), Courtney Lee (10) and Devin Harris (17, eight assists and

seven rebounds).

The group shared the ball especially well, with all five

starters taking between 12 and 16 shots as New Jersey (3-29) ended

its second double-digit losing streak of the season.

“It’s good to get guys back in uniform and it’s good we have

all our weapons back and everybody is playing together,” Harris

said. “I thought our big guys controlled the paint tonight. Brook

was a force inside.”

Lopez is the Nets’ only starter to play in all 32 games. Lee is

next with 25, while Yi is the man having played in only eight

because of a knee injury and a cut lip.

The record reflects the absences. The Nets set an NBA record

opening the season with 18 straight losses.

“This is something to build on,” Nets coach Kiki Vandeweghe

said. “We realize this is just one game but we’ve played for a few

games in a row.”

Reserve Al Harrington scored 25 to lead the Knicks, who failed

in their bid for their first 10-win month since January 2003. David

Lee added 24 points and 15 rebounds for New York, which also saw

its streak of holding opponents under 100 points end at 11

games.

The Knicks looked sluggish playing the second of back-to-back

games.

The last time the Nets played the Knicks on Dec. 6, they scored

a season-high 61 points in the first half, and then got blown out

in the second half.

This time, they put up 60 points, shot 62 percent from the field

and took a 60-53 halftime lead. Then, they didn’t stop in the third

quarter, opening with a 12-2 spurt to push the lead 72-55 on a dunk

by Lopez, who had nine points and nine rebounds in the quarter.

The Knicks had their chances in the fourth quarter when the Nets

only made six baskets, but they also struggled – hitting nine

baskets while turning the ball over seven times.

The closest the Knicks got was eight points, all in the final

minute.

“We have been pretty poor responding to runs this entire

season,” Lopez said. “It’s something we did very well tonight.

When they got down to single digits, we knew we had to lock up

defensively and get the lead back up.”

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said his team seemed to have a

hangover from its emotional win over Detroit on Tuesday and wasn’t

tough enough defensively.

“We were happy just scoring baskets and trading baskets,”

D’Antoni said. “Hopefully it’s a learning experience and we

understand that we can’t have lows like that. We can’t come out

soft and that’s what we did.”

New Jersey took control midway through the second quarter,

hitting nine straight shots from the field to open a 57-44 lead. Yi

had three baskets in the run and Douglas-Roberts two, the last on a

fastbreak layup.

Lee kept the Knicks close, scoring eight of his 16 first-half

points including a layup in the final second of the half.

“It’s a tough game for us,” Lee said. “New Jersey’s got the

talent, that if they put it all together they can play a good game.

They started out hitting a lot of jumpshots. Lopez played well as

he always does. They just outplayed us.”

NOTES: Chris Duhon hit nothing but net on his first 3 3-point

attempts and then hit nothing on his fourth. He finished with 12

points. … Jared Jeffries had a bad night with the officials. He

had five fouls, a technical and no free throws. … The Knicks were

called for two defensive three-seconds technicals. Yi made both

shots and the one on the technical against Jeffries. …The Nets

only got 10 points from their bench, seven by Keyon Dooling.