Recap: Nets Close Preseason With 116-111 Loss To Knicks

By Cory Wright

The Brooklyn Nets got a big boost from Jeremy Lin on Thursday night, but it was not enough, as the Nets fell to the Knicks 116-111 in their preseason finale at Barclays Center.

Lin had his best game of the preseason, scoring a game-high 24 points (on 6-of-9) with 10 assists, his first-double-double. Sixteen of his points came in the second half and 13 came in the fourth quarter, getting the Nets back into the contest.

“I was just trying to be aggressive, stay downhill, make the right play and I’m definitely able to make a lot of plays, but at the same time I didn’t take care of the ball,” Lin said. “I feel like I was efficient and did a lot in the time I was given, but I know there are ways I can be better.”

Lin was referencing his eight turnovers, but with six of them coming in the first half, the Nets point guard managed the ball better as the game wore on.

Behind Lin, Joe Harris was the Nets second-leading scorer, racking up 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting including 3-of-3 from downtown. Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic each finished with 12 points, while Justin Hamilton had a team-high six assists.

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Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points for the Knicks, while Courtney Lee (15 points), Justin Holiday (14), Kyle O’Quinn (13), Joakim Noah (12) and Mindaugas Kuzminskas (10) each hit double-digits. O’Quinn in particular hurt the Nets on Thursday, scoring nine points during a 13-0 run to close the third quarter, which turned out to be the turning point in the game.

As coach Kenny Atkinson has noted, the wins and losses – especially in preseason – are secondary to the process. He and the Nets put Thursday in perspective, another chance to try new combinations, another chance to familiarize new players with one another and a new system.

“I complimented them on their effort and despite the [1-5] record I think we’ve made progress,” Atkinson said. “That’s going to be our message all year. Progress, development, improvement and we obviously have areas we have to improve in. Again, 10 new players. I like a lot of stuff I see, where we are right now is doing things a little more consistently.”

The coach liked the fact that the Nets forced 24 turnovers and parlayed it into 37 points. He liked that they played with pace, picking up 18 fast break points. He liked the Nets' 28 assists. The Nets' 111 points was a preseason high.

“I liked our pace,” Atkinson said. “We want to play with pace and we want to play with the pass… The flip side of that is now we have to run back on defense a little better and rebound the ball defensively.”

Lin said the defensive side of the ball will come with time.

“We definitely have to find ways to get stops consistently. Defensively we need to be more on a string,” Lin said. “That takes time, no group ever showed up and they had that.”

Lin wasn’t one to get too high about his statline, or too low about the preseason record. He just said it’s preseason, you can throw the stats and record out the window once the season starts. And for the Nets, that’s Oct. 26 in Boston.

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