Derek Fisher’s New York Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony and they weren’t able to get past the Brooklyn Nets on the second leg of a back-to-back.
The Knicks fell by a final score of 110-104 in a game where the Fisher’s crew had trouble making some key defensive stops down the fourth quarter. New York held the Nets to only 20 points in the third quarter but were unable to gain control down the stretch.
“We couldn’t finish on the defensive end. We really couldn’t get the stops necessary to keep control of the game,” Fisher explained. “On the road in order to win you need to get stops. We couldn’t do it.”
One of the positive takeaways from the game was a career-night for Derrick Williams. He was able to capitalize on the extra minutes to go around the rotation due to Melo being out with an ankle injury with a 31-point effort in 32 minutes. He also came down with seven rebounds and recorded a couple steals.
After the game Fisher was complimentary of Williams for stepping up when given the opportunity, but being the team-oriented coach that he is, D-Fish wanted to maintain that no individual efforts are bigger than the outcomes of the games for the team.
“Guys had opportunities to step up with the additional minutes…I thought Derrick was good in a lot of situations,” Derek said. “But the guys are only thinking about the team and not getting a win tonight will mean more to them than having good individual performances.”
Kristaps Porzingis struggled from the floor, only shooting 5-of-17 from the field, but he still recorded the team’s only double-double. Porzingis finished with a line of 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in 37 minutes. Aaron Afflalo had a decent night scoring, leading the Knicks’ starters with 18 points to go along with three boards and two assists in 36 minutes.
Going against his brother, Robin Lopez finished the game with nine points, a team-high 12 rebounds and a block. Brook Lopez had a big night for the Nets himself, leading the team in scoring with 20 points while also coming down with eight rebounds.
Jose Calderon bounced back after a rough game the previous night to score 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in 29 minutes. Lance Thomas, who started in place of Melo, struggled with only six points, three boards and three assists in 28 minutes.
With this game marking the halfway point for Fisher and the Knicks, Derek said that he’s happy with the way his group has grinded so far but he also knows there is still a lot of work to be done. He wants the team to continue to work hard to get better every day so they can reach some of their goals before seasons end.
“I think we’re doing a decent job of fighting and clawing out some wins and doing some things in terms of trying to get better. But there’s more room to go than I think even we know,” Derek said. “We have to keep fighting to take that and be really intentional about being much better than we are. If we want to accomplish some goals this year that’s what we’ll have to do the second half of the season.”
The Knicks (20-21) will be on the road to take on the Memphis Grizzlies (21-19). Memphis has won two of its last three games but most recently dropped a game to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday.
Tonight the Grizzlies will square off against the Detroit Pistons before Fisher and the Knicks come to town this weekend.
The game is slated to tipoff at 8 p.m. EST and will be broadcasted on MSG.