Welcome home, Brooklyn Nets!
In their first game at Barclays Center in nearly a month, the Nets played well from start to finish and defeated the New York Knicks 120-112, snapping a 16-game home losing streak in the process.
Brook Lopez got the Nets (12-53) off to a hot start in the first quarter by hitting five 3-pointers. He finished with 25 points on the night, helping the Nets win this leg of the “Battle for New York.”
As a team, Brooklyn hit 19 3-pointers in the victory. They led by as many as 23 points before the Knicks came storming back. Jeremy Lin and Caris LeVert hit some clutch shots in the fourth quarter to hold the lead and seal the game for the Nets. Lin scored nine of his 13 points in the final frame.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson also had a nice game for the Nets, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 27 points in the loss. Kristaps Porzingis scored 19 points before fouling out late.
The last time the Nets were victorious at home was back on December 26th, when Randy Foye hit a buzzer-beater against the Charlotte Hornets. It was an exciting game which was played in front of some hip-hop royalty.
In what was a very class gesture, the Nets honored legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G. throughout the entire game. Christopher Wallace, affectionately known to many as “Biggie,” was born and raised in Brooklyn. He is arguably one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time. He was tragically killed back on March 9, 1997, and the Nets decided to honor him in front of his family and friends around the 20th anniversary of his death.
Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace came out to honor her late son, as did his children. She and rapper Sean “P-Diddy” Combs made speeches to the Brooklyn crowd. Combs and Biggie were close friends at the time of his passing. Fellow hip-hip legends Ice Cube and Lil’ Kim were also in attendance. The Nets culminated the ceremony by raising a banner to the rafters with his name on it. His famous catchphrase, “spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way,” was emblazoned on the bottom. Biggie joins Brooklyn Native and former Nets part-owner Jay-Z, who also has a banner in the rafters at Barclays Center.
The Nets are slated to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, but with a major winter storm on the way, it remains to be seen whether or not the game will be played as scheduled.