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Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 110, Nets 81

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- The latest version of the Battle of the Boroughs wasn’t a battle.

It was a blowout.

The Brooklyn Nets were badly outplayed in a 110-81 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Nets now trail in the season series 2-1. The two teams meet again at Barclays Center on April 15.

Chants of “Brooklyn Sucks!” could be heard in the fourth quarter.

What it means: A night after clinching a playoff spot, the Nets (40-34) didn’t show up -- and got beat by a much more desperate team. They dropped to 5-12 in the second game of back-to-back sets and lost their third straight game on the road.

Toronto won and Chicago was winning as of this posting, so it looks like Brooklyn dropped a game to both in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

The Nets shot just 40 percent overall and went 8-for-26 from 3-point range. Defensively, they were even worse, allowing the Knicks to shoot a staggering 60 percent from the field.

J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Carmelo Anthony chipped in 23 points. Joe Johnson had 16 points for the Nets, while Deron Williams added 12. Williams was held without an assist for the second time this season.

As bad as it gets: The Nets allowed the Knicks to shoot 66.7 percent in the first half and take a 63-38 lead into the locker room. New York outscored Brooklyn 34-18 in the second quarter. A 15-0 run bridging the first and second quarters allowed the Knicks to jump out in front 34-20.

Kidd T’d Up: Nets coach Jason Kidd was hit with his first technical foul of the season in the 74th game of the regular season. Kidd then barked at the officials after Johnson was T’d up at the end of the first half.

Injuries: Kevin Garnett missed his 18th straight game due to back spasms, while Andrei Kirilenko missed his sixth straight game due to a sprained left ankle. The hope is both return over the weekend. Marcus Thornton returned to the lineup after a two-game absence due to back spasms.

Up next: The Nets are off Thursday, then face the Detroit Pistons on Friday night at Barclays Center.