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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 109, Nets 98

By Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- For New York Knicks fans, the last three games must feel like salt on an open wound.

The Knicks are 2-0 since being eliminated from the playoffs and have won three straight overall.

It's too little, too late, of course. And it must have been pretty torturous for Knicks fans to watch their team trounce the Nets on national television on Tuesday.

The Knicks dominated the Nets on both ends of the floor, winning 109-98.

Tim Hardaway Jr. had a team-high 16 points off the bench and Amar'e Stoudemire, J.R. Smith and Shannon Brown added 14 points apiece to lead the Knicks.

New York's defense forced 19 turnovers and converted them into 21 points.

The Knicks won the season series with the Nets, 3-1.

They've also beaten playoff teams in their last three games (Toronto, Chicago, Brooklyn).

Maybe if the Knicks played all season with the energy and efficiency they've shown in the last three games, they'd be in the postseason.

Instead, they end their season at home against Toronto on Wednesday.

Shump sizzles: Third-year guard Iman Shumpert had a few highlight plays against the Nets. He had a killer crossover that shook off Paul Pierce and hit the subsequent jumper to get Knicks fans out of their seats. Shumpert also finished an alley-oop off the backboard (via Toure' Murry) in the fourth quarter that drew the attention of Knicks fans.

Shumpert finished with 11 points three steals and four rebounds.

Youth movement: Tuesday's game provided a platform for the Knicks' younger players to show if they fit in the team's future plans.

All three took advantage.

Cole Aldrich had 13 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes. Jeremy Tyler had eight points, two rebounds, an assist and a block in 20 minutes, and Murry finished with nine points, five assists and three steals in 20 minutes.

What's next: The Knicks finish the season on Wednesday against the Raptors.