Even without Dinwiddie, Nets’ bench too much for Knicks
NEW YORK (AP) — Theo Pinson, Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier carried a Nets bench that dominated the Knicks even without Spencer Dinwiddie, and Brooklyn beat New York 109-99 on Friday night for its sixth straight victory.
Pinson, on a two-way contract, scored a career-high 19 points. Davis had 17 points and 16 rebounds, and Napier added 18 points as the Nets’ reserves turned around and then ran away with the game even without Dinwiddie, their sixth man who has torn ligaments in his right thumb.
D’Angelo Russell was largely ineffective with just 12 points, but Brooklyn put four reserves in double figures and had a 59-33 rebounding advantage while former Knicks starting center Enes Kanter sat again to keep rolling.
Trey Burke scored 25 points and Noah Vonleh had a career-high 22 points and 13 rebounds for the dismal Knicks, who have lost eight in a row and 21 of their last 23 games.
The Nets wrapped up the season series with the 19th victory in their last 24 games, a sizzling stretch that has brought hopes of playoff basketball to New York after both of the city’s teams missed the postseason the last three years.
The Nets are 27-23, their best 50-game record since going 29-21 in 2012-13, their first season since moving from New Jersey and making their home just a few miles from the Knicks. They won only 28 games all last season.
But they filled in some holes over the summer with players such as Davis and Napier, who have helped them overcome injuries, first to Caris LeVert and now Dinwiddie, who will need surgery at some point but so far was only ruled out for Friday’s game.
It was tied at 60 at halftime, with the Nets getting 42 of their points from the bench to erase an 11-point deficit. Brooklyn began to take control midway through the third quarter and pulled away in the fourth.
Knicks: G Emmanuel Mudiay will miss at least two weeks with a strained left shoulder. The Knicks said Mudiay was hurt Wednesday in their loss to Houston and his injury was confirmed by an MRI exam. ... Frank Ntilikina started in Mudiay’s place and fouled out with four points in 18 minutes. ... Mitchell Robinson made both shots in the first half after going 11 for 11 over his previous three games.
Nets: The Nets signed Australian Mitch Creek, who had been playing with their G League team, to a 10-day contract Friday. He got into the game to take free throws for an injured Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the fourth quarter, making one of them.
The Nets are still consulting with doctors on the best course of action for Dinwiddie , who is averaging 17.2 points as one of the top reserves in the NBA this season. Coach Kenny Atkinson said it’s even possible Dinwiddie could keep playing and delay the surgery until the offseason, saying the decision would be made by doctors, Dinwiddie and his family.
Knicks: Host Miami on Sunday.
Nets: Visit Boston on Monday.