December 27, 2019 / 3:13 AM / a month ago

Knicks subdue frigid-shooting Nets

EditorsNote: update 2: adds historical notes re: Nets shooting percentage, adds Dinwiddie quotes

Dec 26, 2019; Brooklyn, New York, USA; New York Knicks small forward Kevin Knox II (20) warms up before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle scored 33 points as the New York Knicks pulled away in the second half and recorded a 94-82 victory over the host Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

The Knicks halted a four-game losing streak to the Nets and improved to 4-6 under interim coach Mike Miller in a game they led by as many as 23 points.

Randle scored 20 points by halftime and followed up a season-high 35 points in Monday’s loss to the Washington Wizards by producing his third game with 30 or more points this season. He shot 14 of 26 from the field and hit a career high five 3s while playing 35 minutes.

The Knicks’ Marcus Morris missed his first six shots but scored 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter, when New York outscored Brooklyn 33-20 and shot 54 percent. Elfrid Payton added 11 of his 13 in the third and grabbed seven rebounds in the game as the Knicks shot 40.2 percent and outscored the Nets 36-14 in the paint.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 25 points but the Nets fell to 12-7 without Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement). Dinwiddie was 5 of 15 from the floor as the Nets shot 26.9 percent and missed 37 of 50 3-point attempts while no other Brooklyn player scored in double figures.

The Nets’ shooting percentage was the lowest by a team in a game since the Chicago Bulls shot 25.7 percent in an 88-65 loss to the Miami Heat in a playoff contest on May 13, 2013. The last time a team shot as poorly in a regular-season game was when the Orlando Magic hit 24.6 percent in an 87-56 road loss to the Boston Celtics on Jan. 23, 2012.

Dinwiddie said, “We played really, really bad. Laughably bad, honestly. We shot really, really bad. Probably historically bad.”

Asked the reason, he added, “Let’s go with too much egg nog. I don’t know what else to tell you.”

The Knicks ended the first quarter on a 15-2 run and held the Nets to one field goal in the last 7:16 to take a 24-15 lead. New York survived missing 12 straight shots in a span of six minutes in the second and held a 46-41 lead by halftime after Randle hit two 3-pointers in the final minute.

The Knicks extended their lead to 58-45 with 7:22 left in the third when Randle connected with Payton for a 3-pointer from the top of the key, prompting a Nets timeout. The Knicks opened a 69-49 lead on a 3-point play by Morris with 4:29 remaining and held a 79-61 lead entering the fourth.

Dinwiddie’s 3-pointer with 7:59 left cut Brooklyn’s deficit to 83-68 and forced the Knicks to call a timeout. Randle hit three baskets in the next two-plus minutes and the Knicks took a 91-73 lead with 5:05 remaining to cruise the rest of the way.

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