- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS: Get the brooms out. The New Jersey Nets were swept by the New York Knicks in all four meetings this season. Unlike the last time the two teams met, this one wasn't close. With four of their regular five starters out with injury, the Nets were routed by the Knickerbockers, 116-93 on Friday night in front of a partisan Knicks crowd at the Prudential Center.
The Knicks tied the Nets' season-highs for points allowed in a quarter (36 in the first) and in half (68 in the first). New York (41-38), which led by as many as 28, has now won its last six. Meanwhile, New Jersey (24-55) has now lost 12 of its last 14 games.
TURNING POINT: When the Nets put out a starting five of Jordan Farmar, Mario West, Sasha Vujacic, Dan Gadzuric and Brook Lopez. The kept it close in the first quarter, trailing only 36-31 after the opening 12 minutes. But the Knicks pulled away in the second period, going on a 12-1 run to take a 59-40 lead with 4:19 remaining.
Chauncey Billups, who torched the Nets all evening, had seven of his 22 points during that run. New Jersey cut it to 10, but the 'Bockers closed the half on a 9-2 surge to lead by 17 heading to the break.
The Nets were within 12 with 3:04 to go in the third quarter, only to watch as the Knicks ripped off the last 12 points to turn a fairly close game into a rout. They led 96-72 after three quarters of play.
MAKING AN IMPACT: Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 10 rebounds at halftime, and finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds in 30 minutes on 9-for-18 shooting. Billups went 8-for-14 from the field and 3-for-5 from 3-point range in 26 minutes, and added four assists.
Brook Lopez had his third consecutive big scoring night for the Nets, dropping in a game-high 27, but just eight of those came after halftime. Travis Outlaw poured in 16 points off the bench, 10 of those coming in the first quarter.
NUMBERS CRUNCH: The Knicks outscored the Nets by 27 points from behind the arc. New York went 15-for-36 from downtown, while the Nets went an abysmal 6-for-19.
WALKING WOUNDED: On Friday, the Nets announced that Deron Williams (wrist) and Kris Humphries (ankle, heel) are done for the season. Anthony Morrow (knee) and Damion James (foot) also sat out.
UP NEXT: The Nets head north of the border to take on the Raptors on Sunday.