Knicks surge in 2nd half to beat Nets

December 6, 2009

3 out of 4 ain't bad

The Knicks continued their strong play as of late and used a second half breakout from Larry Hughes to defeat the Nets earlier this afternoon at Madison Square Garden. They have won 3 out of 4 games starting from last weeks blow-out over the Phoenix Suns.

Larry Hughes scored 16 out of his 25 points in the third quarter for the Knicks, who trailed by eight points going into halftime. The Nets who had their strongest first half of the season lost their 19th game, after recently winning their first game on Friday against Charlotte.

“The biggest thing I was saying to the guys was we can’t lose to the Nets,” forward Al Harrington said. “No disrespect to them, but if we want to start taking steps forward and going in the right direction, we have to win games vs. teams like the Nets.”

Harrington starting for the second game in a row since trade rumors surfaced about him being moved to Chicago, scored 26 points and pulled down a team high 14 rebounds. David Lee matched up against 7-footer Brooke Lopez grabbed nine rebounds and scored 22 points.

Chris Douglas-Roberts led the Nets with 26 points and fell to 1-1 since coach Kiki Vandeweghe took over the team for Lawrence Frank , Devin Harris and Brooke Lopez had 19 a piece for New Jersey.

“They’re an extremely good team when they’re clicking on offense. They’re really hard to defend,” Douglas-Roberts said. “Coach D’Antoni has a really good system. When they’re hitting 3s and playing with passion, they’re a hard team to defend. I feel like we played fairly well but those guys had a great second half.”

The Nets scored nine straight to open an 11-point advantage midway through the second, and later pushed it to 13 and were ahead 61-53 at halftime.

New York trailing quickly came back in the third behind Larry Hughes, who was 14 of 17 from the line in the game. His 3-pointer tied it at 67, and Harrington later had three baskets in an 8-0 run that made it 82-74. New York outscored New Jersey 33-18 in the period and took an 86-79 lead to the fourth.

“We weren’t playing a basketball game that shows that we wanted to win,” Hughes said of the first half. “We were just kind of out there just hanging around and because they are the Nets we can’t expect to win.”

“We want Nate” chants from the audience filled the Garden during the third and grew louder in the fourth quarter. Coach D’antoni who continued to use a eight-rotation served Nate with his third DNP in a row.

The Knicks will host Portland tomorrow for their first and only visit of the year. The Trailblazers will be without center Greg Oden who severely injured his knee on Saturday. Oden missed his entire rookie season due to a similar injury and may be out for the rest of this year as well. Knick center Eddy Curry who has been out for the last two weeks is aiming to return to practice tomorrow.

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