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Knicks cover all angles in victory over Nets

By Everett Merrill, The Sports Xchange
Knicks cover all angles in victory over Nets
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK -- The triangle offense was in full swing Friday for the New York Knicks in their 108-91 victory over the rival Brooklyn Nets.

New York (10-10) recorded a season-high 25 assists in the motion offense, which was implemented last season with little success. The Knicks spread it around with eight players registering at least one assist. Point guard Jose Calderon led the group with 10 assists while scoring only one point, but that didn't bother Knicks coach Derek Fisher.

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"I remember thinking during the game that Jose (Calderon) was the best player out on the floor tonight because he was okay with not having a lot of points," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. "I don't think it's a coincidence that we won the game in an easier fashion.

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"You have a player out there focused on making his teammates better and when more guys are out there thinking that way, it makes the game easier for us."

Brooklyn (5-14) lost its seventh straight game on the road, their longest slide since ending the 2010-11 with seven losses.

Forward Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 28 points and rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis posted his 10th double-double this season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Arron Afflalo added 18 points.

Center Brook Lopez led the Nets with 21 points and forward Thaddeus Young added 18s.

Nets forward Joe Johnson was ejected from the game with 8:01 left for a flagrant foul on Calderon.

Porzingis helped the Knicks start the third quarter with a 14-7 burst by scoring seven points on a driving dunk, a mid-range jumper and a wide open 3-pointer that made it 79-49 with 7:50 left in the quarter.

The Knicks took their biggest lead of the contest 92-61 with 1:17 remaining in the third. That marked the first time since the 2013-14 season that the Knicks held a lead of 30 or more points. The Nets trailed by 15 points or more for the majority of the fourth quarter.

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"Well that was a disaster," Nets coach Lionel Hollins proclaimed. "We didn't come ready to compete early and they jumped on us and knocked us out.

"They did a good job of executing, They ran their offense very well, set good screens and made a lot 3's. It was an ugly game for us."

The Knicks held a commanding 65-42 lead after two quarters for a season high in first-half points. The previous high for a half was 63 against Milwaukee on Oct. 28.

Porzingis and Afflalo scored 10 points apiece and Anthony contributed nine points to help the Knicks to a 42-21 cushion in the first quarter. The Nets were outscored 21-0 from 3-point range in the quarter.

NOTES: Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for October and November. The 7-foot-3 Porzingis, chosen fourth in the draft, ranked third among all rookies in scoring (13.7 points per game) and was second in rebounding (9.3) and blocked shots (1.89) in October and November. ... This was the 180th regular-season meeting between the Knicks and the Nets. ... Brooklyn G Shane Larkin led the Knicks in minutes played (1,865) last season. ... Twins Robin (Knicks) and Brook (Nets) Lopez met for the eighth time as starters. ... Former Knicks C Andrea Bargnani missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. ... F Cleanthony Early was inactive for the Knicks. ... Nets rookie F Willie Reed made his NBA debut scoring eight points in 10 minutes. ... The Knicks tied a season-best with 12 3-pointers, five from F Carmelo Anthony. ... Knicks G Arron Afflalo is averaging 20.7 points over his last three games.

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