Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nets Topple Knicks as Kanter Sits

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nets Topple Knicks as Kanter Sits

Article excerpt

NEW YORK – The last time the Knicks and Nets played, both teams appeared headed toward losing seasons. They both were in the middle of a rebuild, enduring losses in the present while hoping for a brighter future.

A lot has changed since then.

Brooklyn has surged up the standings in the last month and has played itself into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.

That brighter future has arrived earlier than anticipated.

The Knicks, however, are still headed toward another lost season. They showed it Friday night.

After taking a double-digit lead in the first half, the Knicks fell apart late before falling, 109-99, to the Nets at Barclays Center.

The Nets, sitting in the sixth spot in the East, ran away with the game in the fourth quarter.

D'Angelo Russell drained a three-pointer that put Brooklyn up by 15 with just more than seven minutes remaining, and the Knicks never came close to putting a dent in their deficit.

Theo Pinson led the Nets with 19 points, while Shabazz Napier chipped in with 18.

Brooklyn also dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Knicks, 59-33.

The Knicks finished with just six offensive rebounds.

But Enes Kanter, the Knicks' best rebounding center, remained on the bench for a second consecutive "DNP" as Mitchell Robinson and Noah Vonleh, who finished with a career-high 22 points, split minutes at center.

During the fourth quarter, the "Brooklyn Brigade," the Nets' vocal cheering section, began sarcastically chanting "We want Kan-ter!"

Kanter leaned back in his seat on the bench, turned around and pointed back at the section while nodding his head.

But he never got in the game.

"At the end of the day, we had to keep up with their speed if we wanted a chance to be in this game with them," coach David Fizdale said. "Noah Vonleh had a career high tonight. Mitchell Robinson gave us some spectacular minutes. …

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