NEW YORK -- Hold on a second, Melo.
Looks like the $180 million Brooklyn Nets have become the “laughingstock” of the NBA.
In front of a pro-New York Knicks contingent at the Barclays Center on Thursday, the Nets were KO’d in Round 1 of this season’s “Least” River Rivalry, 113-83.
What it means: The Nets (5-14) let their hated rivals, the reeling Knicks (4-13), snap a nine-game losing streak in a game both teams desperately had to have. Brooklyn has lost 12 of its past 15 games. Again, this is as bad as it gets -- the rock bottom of all rock bottoms.
The same stuff happens to the Nets every game. They can’t defend the 3-point line (the Knicks shot 16-for-27). They completely disappear in the third quarter (the Nets were outscored 34-17). They play passionless, lifeless basketball and get blown out.
The Nets trailed by as many as 34. The Nets have trailed by as many as 20 points in seven games this season. And they've played only 19 games.
Brooklyn entered as the league’s worst third-quarter team in terms of average scoring margin. And they did everything in their power to keep that dubious distinction. Same goes for 3-point defense.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 19 points in 31 minutes.
Injury report: Brook Lopez played and played well, scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds. But without Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry, it’s tough. The Nets shot just 39.7 percent from the field.
War of words: Andray Blatche and Iman Shumpert exchanged words and received double technical fouls with 1:55 left in the second quarter. Blatche had shouldered Shumpert on a pick. Two preseasons ago, Shumpert called Blatche “terrible” and “horrible” while the Knicks guard was sitting out with an injury during a game on Long Island.
And more: With 9:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, Andrea Bargnani and Kevin Garnett got tangled up trying to grab a rebound. After falling to the floor, Bargnani got in Garnett’s face, and Garnett put his hands up. Bargnani had hit Garnett with an elbow in the paint moments earlier. Both players received technical fouls. Bargnani was hit with his second T and ejected at the 8:23 mark after talking more smack to Garnett. He finished with 17 points.
Boo that man: Nets coach Jason Kidd was greeted by a chorus of loud boos during pregame introductions. Both fan bases aren’t too happy with him, apparently. This won’t help, at least from a Nets perspective. There were barely audible “Fire Kidd!” chants from the crowd late in the fourth quarter.
Up next: The Nets are off Friday. They’ll fly to Milwaukee and play the Bucks on Saturday.