NEW YORK -- In a battle between two hapless neighboring basketball teams, the New York Knicks ended their nine-game losing streak in decisive fashion with a 113-83 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.
Known as a team that lives and dies by the 3-pointer, New York (4-13) shot 15-for-25 from long range. Guard Iman Shumpert made himself comfortable outside, scoring 15 of his 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
With seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Knicks led 58-50. By quarter's end, an offensive surge put New York up 84-59 as the Nets' second half woes continued. Brooklyn (5-14) was outscored 63-40 in the second half.
Ball movement was crucial for the Knicks. Reversing its recent pattern, New York utilized a quick pace and the extra pass to carve apart the Nets.
While the score line grew more lopsided, a newly divided city saw the rivalry grow. Knicks center Andrea Bargnani, who scored 17 points, was ejected after his second technical just moments after New York forward Amar'e Stoudemire's second technical was rescinded. In the middle of it all was Nets forward Kevin Garnett, who was one of five players assessed technicals on the night.
The Nets did everything they could to exploit their size advantage. Center Brook Lopez abused Bargnani down low, scoring 24 points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds while leading a Nets effort that produced 38 points in the paint.
With two struggling defenses facing off, good looks were plenty, but the Knicks began the game hot. Bargnani, the subject of criticism since his move to New York, started out 4-of-4 for nine points, stretching a physical Nets team outside.
The Nets did not to go down low effectively enough to start, and they shot 6-for-14 in the first quarter. The Knicks' defensive pressure was doing a good job harrying Brooklyn into rushed possessions and turnovers.
NOTES: The Knicks endured a nine-game slide for the first time since March 19-April 4, 2006. That season, the team went 23-59. ... New York F Carmelo Anthony began the night ranked second in the league in scoring, averaging 26.3 points per game. Only Oklahoma City Thunder F Kevin Durant (28.5 ppg) had a better average. Anthony led the league in minutes played with 40.4 per game. ... Knicks G J.R. Smith played 25 minutes despite soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. He scored eight points. ... Nets C Brook Lopez ranked fourth in the league in blocks through Wednesday, averaging 2.27 per game. He blocked one shot against the Knicks.