Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE
(December 5, 2013)
BROOKLYN—You circled this date on your calendar.
It doesn’t matter what side of the East River you reside, or whether you were born and raised a Nets or Knicks fan, you circled it.
This was going to be BIG TIME!
The Nets, invigorated by the acquisitions of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, were going to help the Nets stake their claim to hoops supremacy in the metropolitan area. The Knicks, with a core group led by Brooklyn born Carmelo Anthony, was not going to allow a changing of the guard.
Yet when we woke up on the morning of Dec. 5, the Nets were 5-13, the Knicks were 3-13, and Nets and Knicks fans shared one emotion – frustration.
By the end of the night, the Knicks could feel a little better about themselves after a 113-83 win in Barclays Center. The Nets, depleted, dejected, and boarding on demoralized, were in an even greater sense of disbelief after tying the worst loss of the season.
The Knicks (4-13) snapped a nine-game losing streak at the Nets’ (5-14) expense. The Knicks came out like a searing blast of heat that rises up from the sidewalks in mid-summer, shooting 70.6-percent and taking a 29-23 lead.
The Nets got to within 44-41 but the troublesome third quarter lurked. Sadly, it did not disappoint. The Nets were outscored 34-16 in the third quarter to assure the Nets of their ninth loss in 11 games.
Anthony led the Knicks with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Brook Lopez had 24 for the Nets. The Knicks were 16-of-27 on 3’s.
If it’s any consolation to Nets fans, the players seem just as frustrated as you. With 9:12 left Kevin Garnett and Andrea Bargnani got tangled up and the teams came together.
Bargnani and Garnett received technical fouls. Bargnani also received a personal foul. And Amar’e Stoudemire also was given a technical foul. Bargnani was ejected less than a minute later after hitting a shot and trash talking KG down the court.
For Nets’ fans, it might have been the most exciting moment in the game since Garnett threw down an offensive rebound that tied the score at 4-4. Then the Nets let go of the rope.