|No, we don't know what's wrong with the second half Nets either|
The first quarter was disappointing on the offensive end. The Nets were shooting just 35% from the field and while the Knicks shot 44%. It was still kept close, thanks to the second-chance opportunities that the Nets produced (six offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone). That along with the physicality and intensity of the Nets team kept them int he game. Brook Lopez grabbed 5 rebounds and Deron Williams was an excellent facilitator with 5 assists. Kris Humphries picked up an undeserving technical. For the Knicks, they continued to shot well while taking several threes.
Soon after the start of the second quarter, Keith Bogans made two quick threes to have him start the game going 3/3 from beyond the arc, a good sign for things to come later on. After that Joe Johnson found himself and poured in eight straight Nets points (two three-pointers) to put the Nets ahead 41-37 midway through the second quarter. It wasn't even just Johnson who was stroking it from the three, at this point the Nets team was shooting 58% from three (7 for 12). The Knicks continued to resort to their barrage of threes, but made only six of their 17 in the first quarter, which equates to a mere 35% from beyond the arc for them. Down four in the waning seconds, the Nets had a chance to cut the lead before halftime but failed to do so due to a shot-clock violation. That was the second of the quarter, a testament to the Knicks defense. Carmelo missed a three and the Nets headed the the locker rooms down 48-52. There would be no lead to blow in the 3rd quarter this game. At this point, Lopez was leading all players in rebounding with eight. Carmelo had dropped 17 points and Johnson led the Nets with 13. Deron was much more of a facilitator and dished out seven dimes by this time.
The third quarter started with Deron Williams hitting several shots and the Nets taking the lead by five very quickly. From then on, it turned right back into a typical Nets third quarter meltdown. The Nets offense melted slowly, as they managed to score only 19 points to the Knicks 23. The defense was there, except for multiple crowd-rising alley-oops from the Knicks point guards to Tyson Chandler. The threes continued to fall short for the Knicks and likewise faltered on the Nets offense as well. For the most part, scoring came from within the paint. After just 2 points in the first half, Deron Williams ended up with 13 by the start of the fourth.
The fourth quarter lacked the intensity that could be seen in the first three quarters. The Knicks lead slowly grew as Carmelo and the rest of the team started hitting shot after shot.The vibe was gone and the Nets never really got back into this game, and they eventually lost in a blowout after getting outscored, outplayed, and out-hustled 25 points to 19 in the final quarter. The massive amounts of isolation plays once again killed the momentum the Nets had. There was just no stopping Carmelo once again as he poured in 31 points on 30 shots, shooting just above 50% from the field.
Brook Lopez had 16 points, 10 rebounds and only 1 block on a sub-par game. Deron Williams, criticized by his peers and himself for his scoring inefficiency, shot 7-12 from the field but 2-6 from beyond the arc to total 16 points, 14 coming in the second half. He also dished out 10 assists and grabbed 5 boards. Joe Johnson, who had 13 points by halftime, ended up with 17 on a poor 4 for 14 shooting from the field. He did make three of his five three point attempts though.
ESPN - Box Score
Final Score: 100-86 Knicks
Most Disappointing Stat of the Game: Gerald Wallace had a +/- of -23, the lowest on the Nets
Promising Stat of the Game: Deron Williams shot 7-12 from the field
Scary Moment of the Game: Tyson Chandler completes the lob from Felton for a reverse dunk.
Best Moment of the Game: Brook Lopez made a fade-away jumper over Tyson Chandler near the three point line as the shot clock expired