Tim Hardaway Jr. scored the first eight points of a decisive run spanning the second and third quarters Monday night for the host New York Knicks, who snapped a five-game losing streak with a 115-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
The Knicks’ losing streak included close losses to a pair of Eastern Conference contenders, the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, as well as a 28-point loss to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in which New York led in the fourth quarter.
Both the Knicks and Nets are 2-5. Brooklyn, which edged New York 107-105 in the first meeting of the season between the local rivals on Oct. 19, has lost three straight.
Hardaway led all scorers with 25 points while Enes Kanter recorded a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Frank Ntilikina (16 points), Mario Hezonja (11 points), Mitchell Robinson (11 points) and Damyean Dotson (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Knicks.
Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 17 points while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 16 points. D’Angelo Russell had 13 points, Shabazz Napier scored 12 points and Joe Harris added 11 points.
The Nets raced out to a 14-5 lead thanks entirely to Russell, who scored eight points in the run, and Harris, who added six. The Knicks didn’t lead in the first quarter but went ahead for good at 40-38 on Ntilikina’s two free throws with 5:13 remaining in the second quarter.
Hardaway’s surge began a half-ending 10-2 run for the Knicks, who led 52-44 at intermission. New York then opened the third quarter with nine straight points, including six by Robinson, who slammed home back-to-back dunks during the run.
The Knicks led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter. The Nets closed to within 11 or 12 points a handful of times in the fourth quarter, the last on a free throw by Russell that pulled Brooklyn within 102-90 with 4:46 remaining. But New York ended the game on a 13-6 run.
—Field Level Media