NEW YORK (AP) Jeremy Lin wasn’t doing much on the court, until he made a big impact in the locker room.
Lin urged the Nets to stay positive at halftime despite their shooting struggles, and a few minutes later he helped guide them through a blistering stretch as Brooklyn blew by the Knicks.
Brook Lopez scored 24 points and the Nets dominated the second half for a 121-110 victory on Thursday night, their second over their New York rivals in five days.
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The Nets made five straight 3-pointers during a 38-point third quarter, turning around the game after they were just 2 for 16 behind the arc in the first half.
”We were just trying to play with more force, more pace, more energy,” Lin said. ”We were just flat all-around, first unit, second unit in the first half.”
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Brooklyn, which beat New York 120-112 at home on Sunday and earned a split of the city series after the Knicks won the first two meetings. Lin, a former Knicks star, had 15 points and eight assists in his first game at Madison Square Garden this season.
He hit two of the 3-pointers during the third-quarter surge after he was 0 for 5 behind the arc in the first half. But he wasn’t down and wouldn’t let his teammates be, either.
”I just think Jeremy is like the spokesperson for that when it comes to just positivity and light, just trying to make everything feel at ease,” Hollis-Jefferson said. ”I feel like it’s phenomenal what he does. He just kind of rubs off on everybody.”
Kyle O’Quinn came off the bench to a tie a career high with 23 points for the Knicks, who still haven’t won consecutive games in 2017. Derrick Rose added 22 and Carmelo Anthony had 17.
Playing without Kristaps Porzingis because of a bruised left thigh, the Knicks fell to 27-42, their fourth straight losing season since winning the Atlantic Division in 2013.
New York shot 50 percent in the first half and led by as much as 11, but the Nets blew by them with their sizzling stretch behind the arc. They made a season-high 19 3s in the victory over the Knicks on Sunday and were 31 of 62 in their previous two games before finishing 10 for 31 on Thursday – though 6 for 9 during the third quarter.
Nets: The Nets improved to 11-9 against the Knicks since moving to Brooklyn in 2012. … F Trevor Booker was given the night off to rest. Coach Kenny Atkinson said the decision was the combination of the Nets’ schedule and a desire to look more at other players. … Sean Kilpatrick missed the game with a strained left hamstring.
Knicks: With few days off, coach Jeff Hornacek said he expected Porzingis to be available Monday when the Knicks visit the Los Angeles Clippers. … O’Quinn didn’t even play Tuesday in a victory over Indiana, but got 26 minutes in Porzingis’ absence. … The Knicks wore their road blue uniforms for Latin Night. The front of the jerseys read Nueva York.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Atkinson downplayed the two Nets’ victories, saying seeing improvement is what’s important to the Nets. But the Knicks were disappointed to be beaten again by a team with inferior talent.
”I think they got us this year,” O’Quinn said. ”But it’s tough. You know, a team like that, you look at the roster, they shouldn’t be in the gym with us, I feel.”
The Knicks held a moment of silence before the game for Dave Stallworth, a member of their 1970 NBA championship game who died Wednesday at 75.
Nets: Host Boston on Friday.
Knicks: Visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, the start of a four-game road trip. New York has lost the last nine meetings.