Jalen Brunson scored 40 points, Josh Hart added a season-high 27 in his second game with his new team and the Knicks snapped a nine-game losing streak against Brooklyn with a 124-106 victory Monday night.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are gone, and so is the Nets’ dominance of New York’s basketball rivalry.
Julius Randle had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who beat the Nets for the first time in three years. Brooklyn never lost to the Knicks when Durant or Irving played.
‘You’ve got to give them credit. They’ve been really good the past couple of years and they were great tonight,’ Brunson said, ‘but I think we just had the upper hand in the second half and we kind of just turned it up a little bit and came away with a win.’
The seventh-place Knicks pulled within two games of the Nets for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The top six teams are guaranteed playoff spots.
Knicks guard Jalen Brunson gestures after making a three-point shot against the Brooklyn Nets
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 28 points for the Nets, who showed again how much of a struggle scoring could be after trading their two All-Stars last week. Cam Johnson had 14, but Mikal Bridges, who came with him from Phoenix in the Durant trade, was 2 of 8 for seven points.
‘That was the overall challenge, just to be able to put the ball in the basket,’ Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. ‘And it´s something we´re going to work on and stress as a group.’
The Knicks beat the Nets twice in the 2019-20 season, which Durant missed while recovering from Achilles tendon surgery. Irving was injured for one Knicks victory, then left Madison Square Garden after learning of Kobe Bryant´s death before the most recent one on Jan. 26, 2020.
Brunson scored 17 in the decisive third quarter on his way to his third 40-point game of the season after never having one in the regular season during his first four years with Dallas.
‘Obviously seeing him play in college and he was amazing and I knew he would have a long career in the NBA, but I didn´t think it was going to be how he´s playing now,’ said Hart, Brunson’s teammate at Villanova. ‘And he´s someone who should be an All-Star and he´s playing at an All-Star level.’
Brunson turned the game in the Knicks’ favor for good after it was tied at 80 late in the third quarter. Brunson had a basket and 3-pointer that started a 13-3 finish to the period for the Knicks, with his 3 making it 93-83.
Hart, acquired from Portland last week, converted a three-point play to push the lead to 12 with 7:05 remaining and the Knicks were never in jeopardy again.
New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) reacts after scoring a 3-point basket against the Nets
MAVERICKS 124, TIMBERWOLVES 121
Kyrie Irving scored 26 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter in his home debut for Dallas as he tried to rally the Mavericks from a 26-point deficit, but the Minnesota Timberwolves held on for a 124-121 victory on Monday night.
Irving had the highest-scoring fourth quarter of his career. But he made a bad pass after stepping inside the 3-point line on the final possession when Dallas had a chance to tie the game. He had exchanged passes with All-Star teammate Luka Doncic, who finished with 33 points.
Irving and Doncic fell to 0-2 while playing together. Irving has played four games overall for Dallas since being acquired from Brooklyn in a trade.
First-time All-Star guard Anthony Edwards scored 32 points and Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had their biggest lead at 89-63 on a long step-back jumper by Edwards midway through the third quarter.
Gobert was 9 of 9 from the field, and Jaden McDaniels was 7 of 8 while scoring 19 points.
Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (2) works against Minnesota Timberwolves’ Mike Conley
NUGGETS 112, HEAT 108
Nikola Jokic finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, and Denver snapped Miami´s eight-game home winning streak.
Jokic made 12 of 14 shots, and Denver shot 58%.
Michael Porter Jr. scored 17, Bruce Brown added 16, Jeff Green scored 12 and three Nuggets – Vlatko Cancar, Christian Braun and Thomas Bryant – each finished with 10 points.
Jimmy Butler had 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Heat. Max Strus scored 23, Bam Adebayo had 19, Gabe Vincent 15 and Jamaree Bouyea added 10 for Miami.
Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic (15) drives to the basket past Miami center Orlando Robinson
HORNETS 144, HAWKS 138
LaMelo Ball had 30 points and 15 assists, Terry Rozier added 29 points and Charlotte held off Atlanta to snap a seven-game skid.
Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and P.J. Washington added 22 as the Hornets shot 63% from the field. Ball had six 3-pointers and Rozier hit five as Charlotte never trailed and tied a season high with 20 3s.
It was the second-highest point total in Hornets franchise history, behind the 158 they scored against Indiana last season.
Trae Young finished with 25 points and 14 assists for the Hawks, who had their two-game win streak snapped. Clint Capela added 22 points, DeAndre Hunter had 21 and Dejounte Murray scored 20.
Charlotte Hornets LaMelo Ball passes the ball as he tries to stay inbound during the first half
CAVALIERS 117, SPURS 109
Donovan Mitchell scored 41 points and led Cleveland to its seventh straight win as nose-diving San Antonio matched a team record with its 13th consecutive loss.
Mitchell made five 3-pointers and scored 23 in the first half, helping the Cavs build an 18-point lead.
Jarrett Allen had 17 points and 11 rebounds as Cleveland improved to 25-6 at home. Evan Mobley had 15 points and 10 boards.
Keldon Johnson scored 25 points and rookie Malaki Branham 18 to pace the Spurs, who are 2-20 in 2023. The Spurs previously lost 13 straight during the 1988-89 season.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell (45) drives against San Antonio Spurs Jeremy Sochan
76ERS 123, ROCKETS 104
James Harden had 29 points and 10 assists against his former team while Tyrese Maxey scored 26 off the bench as Philadelphia beat Houston.
Joel Embiid scored 23 points in 31 minutes for the Sixers, who have won three in a row and improved to 22-8 at home.
Jalen Green scored 29 points for the Rockets, who have lost six straight to fall to a league-worst 13-44. KJ Martin added 15 for Houston.
76ers’ Tyrese Maxey, right, goes up for the shot against Houston Rockets’ Alperen Sengun
PELICANS 103, THUNDER 100
Brandon Ingram scored 34 points and New Orleans outlasted Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City had a chance to tie in the closing seconds, but Isaiah Joe´s 3-pointer bounced away at the buzzer.
Ingram carried the scoring load for the Pelicans while guard CJ McCollum sat out with a sprained right ankle.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Jalen Williams scored 22 points and Joe added 16 for the Thunder.
New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram (14) shoots over Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2)
JAZZ 123, PACERS 117
Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen each scored 29 points and Utah beat Indiana.
Clarkson hit a 3-pointer for a 115-110 lead with 2:03 remaining, and added a 13-foot baseline jumper to extend the lead to 117-113 in the final minute. Markkanen hit 10 of 18 shots and had 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who had lost four of their last five games.
Tyrese Haliburton had 29 points and 12 assists and Bennedict Mathurin scored 21 for the Pacers, whose skid reached five games.
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) shoots against the Indiana Pacers during the second half
MAGIC 100, BULLS 91
Paolo Banchero scored 22 points, Franz Wagner and Markelle Fultz added 18 points apiece Orlando beat cold-shooting Chicago.
Fultz just missed a triple-double with 10 rebounds and nine assists. Wendell Carter Jr. scored 15 points against his former team as the Magic won for the fourth time in six games.
The Bulls matched a season high by dropping their fourth in a row. The missed their first 16 3-pointers and finished 18 of 21 from long range.
Zach LaVine led Chicago with 26 points, and DeMar DeRozan scored 19. Former Magic star Nikola Vucevic finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Orlando rookie Paolo Banchero (5) shoots during the Magic’s win over the Bulls in Chicago
TRAIL BALZERS 127, LAKERS 115
Damian Lillard had 40 points, including eight 3-pointers, to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 127-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.
LeBron James, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, missed his third straight game for the Lakers with a sore left ankle. He has not played since breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record last Tuesday in a loss to Oklahoma City.
The Blazers led by as many as 27 points and made a season-best 23 3-pointers, including a franchise-record 17 3s in the first half.
Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers drives to the basket during the game against the Lakers
WARRIORS 135, WIZARDS 126
Andrew Wiggins had 29 points and seven rebounds, Klay Thompson scored 27 points, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Washington Wizards 135-126 on Monday night in their final home game before the All-Star break.
JaMychal Green went 4 of 4 from deep and made all five of his field goals for 14 points to go with five assists. Donte DiVincenzo added 17 points off the bench, while Kevon Looney contributed 13 points and 13 rebounds as the Warriors snapped a two-game skid. The defending champions played without Stephen Curry for a fourth straight game because of a left leg injury that will keep him out until sometime after the All-Star break.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 34 points on 12-of-16 shooting for a Wizards team that had won 8 of 11 and five of its previous six road games. Bradley Beal added 33 points and reach 15,000 career points. He received a $25,000 from the NBA earlier in the day for making contact with a game official in the third quarter Saturday against Indiana
Golden State Warriors Andrew Wiggins (22) shoots against Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis