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News » Nets-Knicks Preview 2009-12-06

Nets-Knicks Preview 2009-12-06

Nets-Knicks Preview 2009-12-06It's hard to believe a matchup between the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets has both teams entering off victories.

One of these cross-river rivals will make it two straight when the Knicks try to drop the Nets to 0-12 on the road in a Sunday matinee.

New Jersey finally ended the worst start in NBA history after 18 losses with a 97-91 victory over Charlotte on Friday in Kiki Vandeweghe's first game as coach. The club fired Lawrence Frank - previously the longest-tenured coach in the Eastern Conference - before Sunday's 106-87 road loss to the Lakers.

"For me, I was happy for the players," Vandeweghe said. "This has been a bit of a struggle. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It was tough, tough on everybody."

Brook Lopez had 31 points and 14 rebounds and Courtney Lee scored a career-high 27 as New Jersey erased an eight-point deficit in the third quarter. The Nets (1-18) finished five losses shy of the NBA record of 23 straight in a single season set by the Denver Nuggets and Vancouver Grizzlies.

"We did a great job of responding tonight," guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "I've seen a lot of guys who looked like new guys out there, really. They looked like new guys, so I have to introduce myself to these new guys."

The same night, the Knicks (5-15) won for the second time in three games with a 114-107 victory at Atlanta. Al Harrington scored 27 points and Chris Duhon added season highs of 25 points and 10 assists.

Harrington made his third start of the season and bounced back after averaging 15.0 points in his previous three games.

"He gave us some confidence, and this is the best game he's had all season," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Everybody started pitching in, which helped us stay in the game and gave us a chance to beat these guys."

This is the second meeting this season between the Atlantic Division foes after New York won 98-91 on Nov. 21. Harrington and Danilo Gallinari each scored 17 points to lead New York.

Gallinari, averaging 14.2 points, did not play Friday due to a sore right forearm. He started 17 of the Knicks' first 19 games and said he hopes to play Sunday.

The previous matchup is memorable for an incident in which Knicks guard Nate Robinson made a 3-pointer into the wrong basket after taking an inbounds pass with 0.5 seconds left in the first quarter. Robinson made the shot after time expired, but a livid D'Antoni yelled at him afterward.

Robinson has not played in the last two games, although he was in uniform Friday.

The Nets should present a different challenge this time since Lee missed the first matchup. He made his first start since Nov. 6 on Friday and scored four straight points down the stretch that gave New Jersey the lead for good.

New Jersey has dropped 17 straight on the road since a 115-89 win at New York on March 18.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 6, 2009


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