Mon, Apr 5, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Brooklyn Nets (34-16, 1st place) host the New York Knicks (25-25, 3rd place on Monday, April 5, at 7 PM ET in an Atlantic Division showdown.
The Nets are tied atop the Atlantic and the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia 76ers. The teams have identical records and winning percentages.
The Knicks are nine games behind the Nets and 76ers in the Atlantic and the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings coming into tonight's NBA contest.
Brooklyn is 7-3 in its last 10 games and is coming off a loss. New York is 5-5 in its last 10 games and is coming off a victory.
The Nets have won the first two games of this three-game regular-season series. Both games have been close, with Brooklyn winning game one 116-109 and game two 117-112. After tonight, these teams won't meet again unless they collide in the postseason.
The Knicks come into tonight's game after a 125-81 dismantling of the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. Julius Randle scored 29 and the Knicks moved to within nine games of the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
"I couldn't hit anything (Friday), so I guess the basketball gods turned it around," Randle said. "I just tried to come out and be aggressive, and really the whole team came out with energy."
The Knicks began the game on a 16-1 run and the Pistons never recovered. New York outscored Detroit 41-15 in the first quarter and then 37-20 in the fourth quarter to bookend the blowout win.
"I thought the unselfishness, the way in which we guarded and shared the ball, it got us off to a great start," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I just loved the togetherness, the spirit of the team."
The Knicks had six players in double figures in points. Reggie Bullock added 22 for the Knicks.
The last time the Nets took the court they dropped a 115-107 decision to the Chicago Bulls. The win snapped a six-game skid for Chicago.
The Nets were without James Harden and Kevin Durant. Kyrie Irving led the way for the Nets in the loss with 24 points. Jeff Green scored 21 off of the bench. Brooklyn had won 10 of its last 12 games prior to this loss.
"We couldn't get as many stops as we needed," Irving said. "In the second quarter, they created separation and we were playing catch-up. You've got to give the Bulls credit. They came to play and they made shots."
The Nets had a nine-point lead in the first quarter but allowed the Bulls to come within three points before Chicago took a 57-46 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Both teams are dealing with injuries at this point in the season. The Nets have Tyler Johnson: day-to-day (knee), Spencer Dinwiddie: out for season (ACL), James Harden: day-to-day (hamstring), and Kevin Durant: out (hamstring) all listed on the injury report prior to tonight's game.
The Knicks have Norvel Pelle: day-to-day (finger) and Mitchell Robinson: out (ankle) on tonight's injury report.
Brooklyn is 5.5-point favorites over New York on Monday night. The Nets also have the -215 money line. The Over-Under is set at 216.5 total points. As you prepare to place a wager on Monday night's NBA action, take the Nets at -5.5 over the Knicks as they sweep the season series and remain in first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.