Despite an amputee of Kyrie Irving and the four elements pending departure after the exchange involving James Harden, the Nets start off on the best foot. Kevin Durant lights up from afar, but Mitchell Robinson sticks a tarp to him and already recovers some rebounds on DeAndre Jordan. Julius Randle plants two 3-pointers in a row, and the locals are ahead (16-13).
The Madison Square Garden buffalo takes pretty much any shot from his team, and it’s working pretty well so far. Randle does not lift the foot, and by moving away from the racket, the left-hander causes confusion in the defense of the New York neighbors. Steve Nash brings in Reggie Perry to try to calm him down, but Tom Thibodeau’s players put a good intensity in defense. After twelve minutes, the Nets have a short lead and we are witnessing a nice derby for the moment (26-25).
Bruce Brown and Reggie Perry try to show off, and both elements are very interesting in their respective registers. The full back is combative on defense and rebounds, and the inside scores far on two consecutive chances. Brown is also inspired in attack, and Landry Shamet also benefits from the caviar of his teammates (44-38). Durant finds the floor, but his teammate is on fire, with twelve points in 8 minutes in this quarter! The bench jumps with every Brown action, and the Knicks start to reel. Coach Thibodeau is annoyed and there are reasons: his team cashed a 15-2 to finish the quarter, and gave up in defense. The Nets can join the locker room with a nice mattress in advance (61-45) and hit the head of Brown, the strongman of this second quarter.
Kevin Durant, boss of the Brooklyn house
Back from the locker room, RJ Barrett takes some open shots, which he converts. The Canadian full-back wakes up and scores twelve points in two stages, three movements. The problem is, he’s lonely and his team continues to skate. Durant is gaining momentum despite a tough little discussion with Randle, and he sticks a long shot so that his team keeps a good margin of maneuver (77-61).
Shamet is invaluable to the “new look” Nets, but Barrett continues to be on fire, playing his card all the way at mid-distance, yet one aspect of his game where he still has to improve. Timothée Luwawu-Cabarrot, rather clumsy until then, punishes from afar, then on a penetration and he defends well on Immanuel Quickley, inspired by the Knicks. After three quarters, the visitors still have control over the debates (92-76).
The Frenchman brings good minutes, and he can have a role to play for the rest of the season. Him, then Shamet and Chris Chiozza show good things, and allow their team to continue their march forward. Coach Nash puts his five major on the floor to try to fold the match as quickly as possible (106-88). The local bench realized the carrots were done, and Durant and company had just enough time to widen the gap before they found themselves on the bench.
TLC takes the opportunity to adjust his stats, and Perry shows up again. The former interior of Mississippi State is not afraid of anything, and he makes the best game of his very young career (11 points, 5 rebounds). Steve Nash can greet his godson Barrett, his team wins this clasico of the Big Apple (116-109).