(5-2, 1-1 away)
(0-6, 0-2 home)
7:00 PM ET, October 21, 2009
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
NEWARK, N.J. -- Even the Knicks' bench warmers were too good for the Nets this preseason.
Chris Duhon scored 15 of his 21 points in a sizzling second quarter, and New York completed a preseason sweep of winless New Jersey with a 94-92 victory Wednesday night.
The Knicks opened an 18-point lead at halftime, blew all of it in the third quarter, then pulled it out in the final minutes despite having the end of their bench on the floor against New Jersey's starters.
Rookie Toney Douglas made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:33 remaining, then added a spinning basket in the lane with 14 seconds to go after the Nets had cut the lead to two. He finished with 13 points.
"We played extremely well in the first half I thought, I was really pleased," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "And then halfway through the third for whatever reason, some guys thought that they could just turn it off and it's too bad. And then some of the rookies, Toney Douglas and Chris Hunter and those guys, they played hard and won the game."
David Lee and Wilson Chandler each added 11 points for New York, which finished exhibition play at 5-2. The Knicks beat the Nets 115-107 on Oct. 4 in Albany, then held on for a 93-89 victory last Friday at Madison Square Garden.
Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 26 points for the Nets (0-6), who will try to avoid a winless preseason when they face Philadelphia on Friday at St. John's. Courtney Lee had 19, but missed the first of two free throws with 1.1 seconds left and the Nets trailing by two. He missed the second intentionally, and a tip by Brook Lopez also missed.
"Our margin of error is so small that you get outworked or you allow frustration to make the ball stick, which then affects your defense, we don't have that margin for error," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We just, regardless of who it is, we've got to be committed. You can't spot a team that many points and I don't care if it's exhibition or not, we have to understand that this is the way of life for us."
The Knicks seemed on the way to a rout at the Prudential Center when they made 14 of 18 shots (78 percent) in the second quarter, including all six 3-point attempts, and opened a 57-39 halftime lead.
Duhon came in shooting 26.5 percent in the preseason and had made only 3 of 19 3-pointers, but he was flawless in the period. His layup tied it at 33 midway through and kicked off a 15-1 spurt that featured two 3-pointers by Duhon, and one apiece from Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. Duhon and Chandler nailed consecutive 3s to close the half, pushing New York's lead to 57-39.
Duhon was 6 of 6 in the quarter, making all three 3-pointers.
"This is our last dress rehearsal, so I just wanted to come out, continue to shoot with confidence," Duhon said. "All the shots that I've been shooting, they're just right there. Just made an adjustment tonight."
The Nets charged right back by limiting the Knicks to 5 of 23 shooting in the third, outscoring them 36-17 to take a one-point lead into a fourth quarter that featured some hard fouls by the Nets' Bobby Simmons and Josh Boone.
Though it was another rough night on the court, the Nets had a day that could help shape their future.
Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, who last month reached an agreement to buy 80 percent of the team and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn, was in New York earlier Wednesday to meet with NBA owners at their Board of Governors meetings.
If the owners approve the sale -- a vote likely wouldn't come until the spring -- that could be what finally gets the Nets to Brooklyn.
Until then, perhaps they would consider more games at the Prudential Center, where former Mets and Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden, an executive with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League, and Joe Jackson, father of the late Michael Jackson, were part of a crowd of 15,721 that is well more than the Nets usually draw at the Meadowlands.
Prokhorov did not attend.
Lopez finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Wilson Chandler #21 of the New York Knicks shoots the basketball against Eduardo Najera...(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
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