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Nets 117, Knicks 112: Gutty Knicks nearly overcome Brooklyn’s Big 3 of Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Scott Foster

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Yay, Knicks. Boo, refs.

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

So the Brooklyn Nets are very talented. Barring injury, they are probably the favorite to win it all this summer. The Knicks are not nearly as talented, which sucks. But the fightin’ Thibodeaus don’t usually go down without a fight. They made the Nets sweat it, but sadly they just didn’t have enough to beat Brooklyn and the refs.

The first half was a bit weird. The Knicks played Brooklyn close in the first quarter thanks to the hot shooting of Reggie Bullock.

The game fell apart for them in a four-minute stretch early in the second quarter when the bench came in and absolutely took a dump on Brooklyn’s wack gray floor. Obi Toppin, who might be playing his way out of the rotation, was a staggering -12 in just 3:43.

Still, the Knicks were technically in the game, down 12 at the half. They trimmed Brooklyn’s lead to seven early in the fourth quarter, thanks to the work of a ridiculously overworked Julius Randle. The Nets continued to push their lead out to double-digits, but these Knicks are a stubborn lot. They whittled Brooklyn’s lead down to four with just under four minutes remaining, and we dared to hope. Alec Burks, Frank Ntilikina couldn’t quite hit the big three when it mattered, however, and the Nets’ patented late-game offense of “fall down and the refs will call a foul every time” bailed them out.

New York continued to make the Nets sweat in the final seconds, drawing to within three but a crucial jump ball was ruled a foul.

Cue Tom Thibodeau: coaching challenge guru. The call was overturned and New York had the ball with 5 seconds left. Julius Randle had the ball, and Kyrie Irving tipped it on the way up, and the refs found themselves with yet another chance to screw the Knicks, as they called it a turnover. Randle was not happy.

Tons going on at the end of this one. Matt Miranda will have the recap. Good night to everyone except Scott Foster.