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Favors Offers Energy, Nets Can't Contain the Threes

February 12th, 2011

NEWARK, N.J.At the Prudential Center on Saturday, the New York Knicks held off a late charge from the Nets to win 105-95. Devin Harris (22 points 4 assists) led the Nets while Wilson Chandler (21 points, 8 rebounds) filled up the box score for the victors.

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Favors Offers Energy, Nets Can't Contain the Threes
For a half, Nets coach Avery Johnson saw the crazy energy hes been asking for from rookie forward Derrick Favors. The 19-year-old entered the locker room with six points, 10 rebounds and a highlight-reel block that sent New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinaris baseline layup rocketing toward Nets guard Anthony Morrow, who flipped it ahead to Devin Harris for a hop-step floater in transition.

Favors was all over the place, Johnson said. That crazy energy we talked about? Thats kind of what Im looking for.

Favors finished the game with nine points (3-10 FGs) and a career-high 14 boards, leading all rebounders, tallying double digits for the fifth time this season. With star forward Amare Stoudemire sidelined due to a sprained right big toe, the 6-foot-10 Favors grabbed seven offensive boards, yet struggled to finish underneath the basket, missing several layups and dunks that couldve helped the Nets to close the gap on a Knicks team that gradually pulled away for a 105-95 victory at Prudential Center.

Fellow bigs Brook Lopez (22 points) and Kris Humphries (eight points, 11 rebounds) also stepped up, but point guard Harris created most of the offense early, penetrating his way to 15 points in the first half, 10 coming in the opening quarter. But he finished with just 22, and only three assists, convinced that his team hadnt taken full advantage of Amares absence.

We definitely missed an opportunity, Harris said. (We had) the opportunity to attack the basket a little bit more seeing how Amare is one of their big shot blockers. We just didnt make enough plays in the game. We gave up a ton of threes at the end and we couldnt counter what they were doing in the last part of the game.

The three-point defense proved a brutal sticking point, with the Nets allowing the Knicks to connect on 16 of their 34 attempts (.471), including 5-of-6 in the fourth. The last proved to be the biggest, as Knicks rookie Landry Fields lined up an open shot from the left corner, froze his follow through and posed as the shot snapped strings to put his team up eight, 99-91, with 48.6 seconds to play.

With the Nets repeatedly failing to rotate properly or close out quick enough, the majority of the Knicks attempts were open looks, frustrating Johnson. The coach said his team had several crucial breakdowns, like helping off the wrong offensive player.

Just one or two mix-ups in transition and the game can go from two points to eight points, 12 points quick, Morrow said. Theres not a lot of teams like that in the league, and theyre the best at that, obviously. We play them again, and its one of those teams youve got to make the adjustment and make them pay when they miss their shots; we didnt make them pay."


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