Game Recaps

Recap: Nets 110, Knicks 104 - The Shane Larkin Revenge Game

The Brooklyn Nets came into Wednesday’s game with an interim head coach, an interim GM, and a ten game losing streak at home. They left the court winners, beating the New York Knicks 110-104.

After a home loss to a historically great San Antonio Spurs team, it seemed like the Nets might miss out on one of the most treasured sport’s traditions: the interim head coach bump. In the middle of a failed season, nothing seems to energize players like a shift in coaching style and personality. It may have come a game late, but firing Lionel Hollins and replacing him with journeyman Tony Brown provided a boost for the Nets.

Sure, the Knicks were coming off the second game of a back-to-back and were missing Carmelo Anthony, but there was a notable change in the on court demeanor of the Nets. They played looser, more carefree, and actually seemed to be having fun.

The first quarter belonged to Brooklyn. After falling behind 6-2 in the opening minutes of the game, the Nets dominated on offense, getting to the line and scoring at the basket. All of the damage was done inside the arc until the end of the quarter, when Bojan Bogdanovic burst into flames and buried three 3-pointers in two minutes, carrying the Nets to a 29-20 lead at the end of the quarter.

The second period opened with the Derricks Williams show. He scored the Knicks first 9 points of the quarter, simply dominating Joe Johnson and getting to the rim at will, leading to desperation fouls at the basket. Williams, with a little help from Kristaps Porzingis and Robin Lopez, led the Knicks back into the game and briefly grabbed a one point lead. But the Nets would not be denied, retaking the lead by taking (and making!) shots from beyond the arc. At the end of the half the Nets had a 54-51 lead despite a slow start from Brook Lopez.

The third quarter was a brawl: both teams playing fast and messy. Derricks Williams continued to dunk all over the Nets, and Jose Calderon started hitting outside shots, but the Nets hung in their. Thaddeus Young kept Porzingis from getting off a clean shot and the Knicks couldn’t seem to get into an offensive rhythm. Even with a burst at the end of the quarter to take a one point lead again, the Knicks never felt in control of the game or the pace.

In the final period, the Nets took over. Bogdanovic, Larkin, and Johnson kept hitting shots, Brook Lopez started springboard, and Thad Young did a little bit of everything. With less than a minute left in the game and a six point lead, Larkin hit a pullup jumper to take an insurmountable 104-96 lead. The Knicks were forced to foul the rest of the game, allowing Larkin and Bogdanovic to ice the game from the line for a final score of 110-104.

The Nets may have broken a ten game losing streak at home, but to be fair, they might have been confused by the rare sellout crowd at the Barclays Center, which seemed to be populated by as many Knicks fans as Nets fans. There was a palpable energy in the building, and the team seemed to feed off of it.


  • Shane Larkin is built for high-energy, sloppy games like this one. Playing against a team that let him go for nothing, he seemed especially eager to show off what he can do. Larkin scored 17 points on 6/10 shooting, picked up 5 assists, and played hounding on-ball defense all night. With Jarrett Jack out for the rest of the season, Larkin will continue to have a more prominent role on this team. Through 41 games, he has earned it.
  • Thaddeus Young was once again the best player on the court. In a game high 39 minutes, he put up 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists. He also locked down Kristaps Porzingis despite being a half-foot shorter.
  • Joe Johnson was good on offense. Really. He was active on the boards, scored efficiently, and led the team with 6 assists. Defense, on the other hand, was a problem. Derrick Williams, a player whose legs still work, abused him all night, getting to the rim at will and scoring a truly absurd 31 points. Still, it was a reassuring performance that showed Johnson still has some gas left in the tank.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic made shots for the first time in a while. He’s pretty good when he does that.
  • In a world filled with rancor and divisive rhetoric, where people can’t seem to agree on anything, there was something strangely heartwarming about Knicks fans and Nets fans joining together to boo Andrea Bargnani.
  • The Nets earned their first win since firing Lionel Hollins and Billy King, beating the Knicks 110-104 Wednesday night. Their next game is at home against the Portland Trailblazers on Friday, January 16th at 7:30 PM (ET).