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Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis get hot early as Knicks rout Nets

The New York Knicks bench celebrates a three

The New York Knicks bench celebrates a three point basket in the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 in New York City. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis have mostly taken turns having big games this season. The thought of them doing it consistently on the same night gives the Knicks hope for the near future.

Anthony and Porzingis had it going last night and the Nets couldn’t stop them, although they probably could have tried a little harder. The Knicks got open looks all over the court, led by 31 and scorched the Nets, 108-91, at the Garden.

The Knicks improved to 10-10, and will go for their third straight win Saturday in Milwaukee.

Anthony shot 5-for-8 from three and 9-for-18 overall and led the Knicks with 28 points and seven rebounds. Porzingis was 3-for-4 from deep and had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Porzingis, the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month for October/November, had his 10th double-double and third in a row.

The two have scored at least 20 points in the same game just once this season, and might have done it again if this wasn’t such a lopsided game. Anthony played 31 minutes and Porzingis 26. When they were on the floor together, the Knicks outscored the Nets 64-48. Porzingis had 10 points in the first 6:37 of the game, matching the Nets’ total at the time.

Brook Lopez had 21 and Thaddeus Young 18 for the Nets, who put up little fight against their borough rivals. The Nets (5-14) gave up 42 points in the first quarter and by double digits over the last 43:22 of the game.

The Knicks were up 92-61 with 1:11 left in the third quarter. The Nets cut it to under 20 early in the fourth, prompting Derek Fisher to re-insert his starters. But the Nets, who lost Joe Johnson in fourth quarter to an ejection for elbowing Jose Calderon in the face, never really threatened.

The Knicks assisted on nine of their first 11 baskets, and for much of the night made the extra pass. They shot 12-for-27 overall from three, many of them were with no Net defender near them.

“Trust is huge on a team,” Fisher said. “As guys grow in their trust for each other and with each other, I think you see guys start to do things that maybe they haven’t done before — be more willing to share the ball, put more energy on defense, do less because sometimes less can be more. And we’re seeing signs of it. Hopefully we just keep building on it.”

The Knicks got rolling quickly. They hit eight of their first 11 shots and scored 20 points in the first 5:35 of the game. They reeled off another 22 points over the final 5:44 of the opening quarter, and doubled up the Nets 42-21.

In an amazing shooting display, the Knicks scored 21 points on threes (7-for-11) in the first. The Nets scored 21 total.

Anthony connected on three three-pointers, and Porzingis two. During one stretch, the Knicks hit threes on four straight possessions, over 96 seconds. It took the Nets 7:29 to reach the 12-point mark. They scored just 13 over the next 11:12.

The Knicks couldn’t keep up their torrid shooting in the second quarter but they still led by 29 four different times and never let their cushion dip below 23 points. It was 65-42 at the half.

The Nets needed an Anthony goaltend of a Shane Larkin layup in the waning seconds of the second to equal the Knicks’ first-quarter point total. It wasn’t the most points the Nets allowed in a half this season. They gave up 66 to Boston two weeks ago.


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