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New York Knicks 111-104 Brooklyn Nets: Three Takeaways

BROOKLYN – The Nets (11-16) take pride in having one of the best benches in the league, but the unit’s ineffectiveness proved costly against the Knicks (15-13) on Thursday. New York’s bench took control and sparked a win for the visitors, pushing its advantage against its rival to 2-0 in the season series.

“I thought their second unit came in and just really took the game over,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson noted in his postgame press conference. “Similar to the first game [against the Knicks], they turned up their pressure, their physicality really. I thought they were the much more physical team.”

Brooklyn had previously experienced a dominant run at home against New York, winning five out of their six last games at the Barclays Center prior to Thursday, but the team’s offense couldn’t click and struggled mightily from behind-the-arc. The Nets hit just 12 out of their 42 three-point shots against the Knicks.

Atkinson’s team now have to quickly move on from this result as it travels to face the third-best team in the East in Toronto (18-8) on Friday.

Here’s Three Key Observations After the Game:

Brooklyn’s Guards Struggle on the Perimeter

This is a night that Allen Crabbe and Joe Harris will want to forget.

The two shooting guards combined for a poor 4-for-16 shooting. Considering how much Atkinson’s offense depends on three-point shooting, Brooklyn can’t win if neither of its specialists are making shots from behind-the-arc.

Crabbe is struggling to find rhythm recently. Outside of his clutch go-ahead three against the Wizards on Tuesday, the 25-year-old is shooting 18 percent in his past two games.

“Just like a batter in a slump, he’ll come back,” Atkinson said after the game.

Nets Bench Fails to Make Impact

The shooting guards weren’t the only players that failed to make a significant impact against the cross-bridge rivals. Brooklyn’s usually reliable bench, second in the league in scoring prior to Thursday’s game, was outscored 45-27 by the Knicks' second unit. 

 With the Nets playing the third-highest pace in the league, the team relies heavily on its bench to keep things going. In contrast, Brooklyn’s starters were responsible for 75 percent of the team's scoring. 

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Spencer Dinwiddie’s Strong Seasons Continue

There were some positives, despite a loss in the Clash of the Borough series. Both Hollis-Jefferson and Dinwiddie continued their strong campaigns with career-highs in scoring, with 25 and 26 points respectively.

Dinwiddie was happy he was able to put a poor shooting night (11 points on 4-for-14 field goals) against the Wizards behind him.

“I was just fortunate to hit shots,” the point guard said. “Last game, I couldn’t hit the side of a barn, so today they went in and looked like a better game. That’s really it.”

Hollis-Jefferson, on the other hand, refused to look at his own personal stats as it came in a defeat.

“I’m not worried about the numbers,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “It would’ve been good to get the W.”