Knicks pound Nets again as Anthony sits

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm •  Published: April 15, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — At least the New York Knicks can say they won a city championship.

Only the Brooklyn Nets have a chance to compete for a real one — though they'd better play a lot better than this.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points and the Knicks, playing without the injured Carmelo Anthony, beat the Nets 109-98 on Tuesday night to win the season series between city rivals.

And in an otherwise massively disappointing season, apparently local bragging rights do matter.

"Hell yeah," Knicks guard J.R. Smith said. "I mean, I'm cool with some of those guys over there, so I can still say something when we're in the gym this summer. As long as I can say they didn't beat us that many times, we're good."

The Knicks prevented the Nets from clinching the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and won their third straight in their too-little, too-late strong finish. Amare Stoudemire and Smith each added 14 points.

Anthony had an MRI exam Tuesday that revealed a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He won't play Wednesday against Toronto, the final game of the first season in his 11-year career that won't end with a playoff berth — and potentially his last as a member of the Knicks. He has said he will become a free agent in July.

Marcus Thornton scored 24 points for the Nets, who weren't sharp despite playing starters Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. The other starter, Shaun Livingston, remained sidelined with a sprained right big toe.

The Nets still have a magic number of one for finishing fifth. But they could fall to No. 6 if they lose Wednesday in Cleveland and Washington beats Boston.

"Tonight was an example of how not to take a step forward. We were off our game offensively, defensively, all phases of the game and that's not how you want to go into the playoffs," Pierce said.

The Knicks would be in the playoffs themselves if they played against everyone else the way they did against the Nets while winning three romps.

All four games were on national TV, though none was really worth watching after halftime. The Knicks won a pair of routs, 113-83 at Barclays Center in December and 110-81 at Madison Square Garden two weeks ago. The Nets won by 23 in their lone victory.



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