Caris LeVert's fourth-quarter takeover lifted the Brooklyn Nets to a 107-105 win over the New York Knicks in their home opener at Barclays Center.
Sizing things up from above the top of the key after the Nets inbounded with 15.9 seconds to go, LeVert took it to the rim on Tim Hardaway Jr. and muscled in the winning layup with one second remaining to go.
Two minutes earlier, LeVert had broken another tie with a step-back 3-pointer that put Brooklyn up 103-100, and his two free throws made it a 105-102 game with 1:13 to go. But New York's Enes Kanter converted a three-point play on a pick-and-roll cut to the rim to tie the game again with 15.9 remaining.
- LeVert scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and finished with a career-high 28 points, six rebounds and five assists.
- Jarrett Allen had his second double-double in as many games with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
- D'Angelo Russell had 15 points and six assists.
- Ed Davis grabbed 10 rebounds off the bench.
- Six Nets scored in double figures
Down 86-84, the Nets tied the game on two LeVert free throws, and went up 88-86 after LeVert drew a flagrant foul from Kanter on a breakaway. Allen scored in the lane and after Frank Ntilikina answered for the Knicks, Jared Dudley hit a 3-pointer off a drive-and-kick from LeVert for a 93-88 lead with 4:56 to go.
When the Nets got two quick baskets from LeVert and Harris to open up the second half they were back up by 11, 61-50, and had Knicks coach David Fizdale calling for a timeout.
But Brooklyn stalled after that, scoring just four points in a nearly six-minute stretch. The Knicks' 11-0 run was capped by a Hardaway three that put them up 66-65 for their first lead since the opening minute. With New York up by five, Joe Harris hit a three -- his third in four attempts at that point -- and Spencer Dinwiddie drew a goaltend on a drive to knot the game at 74. But Allonzo Trier's two free throws put the Knicks up two going into the fourth.
The Nets made nine of their first 10 shots in a 33-point first quarter, jumping out the same way they did in Detroit on Wednesday by aggressively attacking the rim. LeVert got into the rim with ease early, Allen proved an easy and effective target rolling to the rim and Brooklyn jumped out to a 19-9 lead.
With the lane open for business, the Nets put up just one 3-pointer in the first nine minutes, that one comfortably knocked down by Harris. Allen Crabbe made his first appearance of the season after missing Wednesday night's opener and quickly knocked down his first attempt from the beyond the arc. Harris followed with another triple and at the end of the first quarter the Nets were 3-3 from 3-point range, 13-17 overall and up by nine.
Kanter had 10 points in the first quarter and 16 by halftime, and that was the biggest factor in the Knicks sticking around and within 57-50 at the break after the Nets went up by as many as 11. Brooklyn lost reserve swingman Treveon Graham midway through the second quarter when he rolled his ankle on a drive to the hoop, but that opened the door to Rodions Kurucs' first minutes of the night and the energetic rookie didn't disappoint.
Kurucs knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing, and his two free throws had the Nets up 51-40. Dinwiddie connected for two threes in the final three minutes of the half and put Brooklyn up 10, but Hardaway's triple brought New York within 57-50 at halftime. The Nets shot 6-for-14 from 3-point range and 21-for-38 overall in the first half.