Game: New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Odds: Knicks +3, Nets -3
When the New York Knicks visit the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday for the first Big Apple matchup of the season, one of the keys will be their abilities at both ends of the floor related to the 3-pointer. Two days after allowing 27 made 3-pointers in a loss to the Boston Celtics at home, the Knicks hit a season-high 19 3-pointers in a victory at Minnesota on Monday. The Nets, New York’s opponent tonight, are the NBA’s second-worst team at defending 3-pointers allowing 38.9 percent shooting from behind the arc.
The Knicks entered Wednesday with a 5-5 record and a league-worst 34.8 percent 3-point shooting percentage. The Knicks finished 13th with 35.7 percent 3-point shooting last year, and tied for second place with the Nets with 39.2 percent two seasons prior.
New York has five wins and is averaging 121 points per game so far this season. On Monday night, they defeated Minnesota 120-107 after losing to Boston 133-118 on Saturday night.
The Knicks scored 38 points in the first quarter against Minnesota and went on to lead by as much as 27 points in the game. New York held Minnesota to 11-of-41 shooting from behind the arc. On Saturday, Boston made 27-of-51 3-point attempts in the Knicks’ loss.
Julius Randle of the Knicks scored 31 points on Monday and connected on a career-high eight 3-pointers after making just 4-of-23 in his previous six games. Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau realizes the Knicks have to be strong on both ends in the long-range game. Today’s game is about shooting 3s and defending them.
Brooklyn has historically been vulnerable to long-range shooting, but since the Indiana Pacers made 23 3-pointers in a loss on October 29, the Nets are only allowing 28.3 percent from beyond the arc. Under interim coach Jacque Vaughn, the Nets have split their last four games and have given up an average of 96 points, which is far less than the 120.3 they let up in their first seven games.
Brooklyn just got back from a three-game road trip that was marginally successful. The Nets suffered a difficult 96-94 loss at Dallas on Monday after winning by 42 points at Washington and pulling out a victory at Charlotte. Kevin Durant scored 26 against the Mavericks, but he missed a free throw with 5.6 seconds left after being fouled by Dorian Finney-Smith on a 3-point attempt. Prior to missing the second and third free throws, Durant had made 62 of his previous straight attempts from the line.
After falling down by 11 points with 3:50 left in the game, Brooklyn came close to winning by preventing the Mavericks from making a field goal over the last 3:50 and limiting Dallas to 44.4 percent from the field overall.
Since the start of the 2018–19 season, Brooklyn has won 12 of the last 15 games against the Knicks and seven of the last eight matchups.
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