NBA Game Summary - New Jersey at New York
(Friday, February 24th)
Final Score: New Jersey 94, New York 90
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Richard Jefferson scored 27 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out six assists as the New Jersey Nets downed the New York Knicks, 94-90, at Madison Square Garden.
Vince Carter added 26 points and six boards for the Nets, who have won their last four games. Nenad Krstic contributed 23 points on a perfect 11-of-11 from the floor. He was 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
"(It) feels great," Krstic said of his performance. "I like to play in this arena. I'm glad the team won. That is the most important thing."
The Nets have downed the Knicks three times this season and now own a six-game winning streak over New York.
All eyes were on the Knicks debut of Steve Francis, who was acquired by New York on Wednesday from Orlando for guard Anfernee Hardaway and forward Trevor Ariza. The guard ended with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
His new backcourt mate, Stephon Marbury, had just six points in only his second game back after missing eight games because of a shoulder injury.
"It was good, (we were) kind of feeling each other out," said Francis on playing with Marbury. "It's not just going to be me and Steph that's going to win games for this team."
"I think it is definitely going to be a lot of fun playing with him," Marbury added of Francis.
Channing Frye paced the Knicks, now losers in 18 of their last 20, with 20 points. Jalen Rose added 18 off the bench.
The Francis era in New York did not get off to a great start as the Nets opened up the game with a 10-0 run over the contest's first 4:15. Francis finally put the Knicks on the board with a layup with 7:27 remaining in the first.
After a Frye dunk, the Nets rattled off another 10 straight to go ahead by 16 at 20-4 with just over five minutes remaining in the first. The Knicks though, scored 11 of the last 16 points in the quarter to get within 25-15 after one.
"It was tough," Francis said of the first quarter. "We had open shots, guys missed shots. We ran plays to get people looks and we didn't hit them."
The Nets held a decisive advantage through the early part of the second until, down 32-22, a Rose dunk sparked an 8-2 run that pulled the Knicks to within 34-30 with 3:57 remaining.
The Nets later restored their 10-point edge after a Carter layup made it 44-34 with under one minute left. A free throw by Marbury capped the scoring in the half.
Jefferson (12 points) and Carter (11 points) paced the Nets in the first half. Rose and Frye each led New York with six points. Francis had just four points on 2-of-7 shooting.
"We got to get stops, get loose ball, easy rebounds," said Marbury. "Those are the things that hurt us tonight."
The Knicks did not threaten in the third as the Nets held a 73-55 lead heading into the fourth. Ahead 60-49 with under four minutes left in the third, Krstic hit back-to-back jumpers and, after a Rose basket, Carter converted a three- point try to give the Nets a 16-point lead, 67-51, with 2:17 left.
"(Krstic) was unbelievable tonight," added Jefferson. "He has a long way to go, but it's amazing (that) with J-Kidd and Vince, he still finds a way to stand out."
The Nets went up by as much as 21 early in the fourth until a dunk by Eddy Curry started an 11-0 run that pulled New York to within 77-67 with 8:29 left. New Jersey later went back up 15, 85-70, after a Krstic jumper with 5:39 left.
The Knicks made a late run, but it was too late in the contest. After a pair of Jefferson free throws made it a 94-79 game with just over two minutes remaining, the Knicks closed out the contest on an 11-0 run. Francis capped the spurt with a three-pointer, but it came at the final buzzer.
New Jersey improved to 25-0 when leading after three quarters and are 5-0 when three of its players finish with 20-plus points...Kidd finished with nine points, nine assists and six rebounds...Frye added eight rebounds...Curry donated 15 points and a season-high 10 rebounds in the loss...The Knicks never led in the game...Hardaway has since been waived by the Magic.
02/25 00:42:36 ET