Five things to know from Wednesday's game
1. Julius Randle got things going early for the Knicks, scoring 10 of New York's first 20 points while jumping out to a five-point lead with under three to play in the first quarter. Randle finished the first quarter with 12 points, but a seven-point first quarter from Kevin Durant saw the Nets take a 26-25 lead into the second.
2. Obi Toppin finally made his return to the floor for the Knicks following his calf injury, as he came off the bench for the first time in the second quarter. Curiously, Toppin played just 57 seconds before heading back to the bench.
He did not return to the floor again, raising questions about his health.
3. Immanuel Quickley entered Wednesday struggling in his last four games, but he gave the Knicks a decent spark in the first half, hitting a pair of threes to give him eight points in his first 10 minutes. It wasn’t enough in the first half, though, as Brooklyn ended up outscoring the Knicks 35-20 in the frame to take a 61-45 lead into halftime.
Quickley had a strong game overall, however, finishing with 19 points in 22 minutes.
4. Randle continued to pace the Knicks through the first three quarters with 24 points, four rebounds and three assists, but the Knicks' defense struggled to contain the Nets, as Brooklyn shot 50.7 percent from the floor overall and 45.2% from three-point range through the first three quarters. Without Kyrie Irving (personal reasons) and the now-traded Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, the Nets were led by Durant, who scored 24 points in 24 minutes through the first three quarters, as Brooklyn took a 92-76 lead into the fourth.
5. RJ Barrett ended up with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting after a slow start, but aside from Randle and Barrett, the Knicks' starting lineup didn't contribute much scoring. The trio of Austin Rivers, Mitchell Robinson and Elfrid Payton combined to score 25 points.
The Knicks did manage to cut into the Nets' fourth-quarter lead, as a Rivers' three trimmed the Nets' cushion to 10 points, but it was ultimately too little, too late for New York. Despite cutting the lead to five points in the final 20 seconds, the Nets hit their free throws and came away with the win.
The Knicks (5-7) will take the floor next on Friday in Cleveland, where they'll tip-off with the Cavs at 7:30 p.m.