Four teeth and blood fell to the floor at the World’s Most Famous Arena. No, this was not a match up between two boxers at Madison Square Garden, but a basketball game between the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks, rivals who play on opposite sides of the Hudson River, that is untl the end of the season, when Brooklyn becomes the home of the Nets.
It was 16 days ago when Linsanity began, when Jeremy Lin came off the bench with 3:35 left in the first quarter against the New Jersey Nets and scorched them for a then career-high 25 points with 7 assists. Last night’s game was much different.
Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets did the celebrating tonight, as Williams nailed a career-high 8 three-pointers, and led the Nets to a 100-92 victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Williams admitted to having this game “circled on his calendar” as he didn’t agree that he got “destroyed” by Lin in his breakout performance. He was relentless and unstoppable through the first three quarters of the game, scoring 10, 8, and 18 in the first three quarters of the game, before fouling out in the fourth and finishing with 38 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.
Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni spoke about the All-Star point guard for the Nets after the game. “Deron Williams is really good. You have to give him credit. He is one of the best in the League.”
Amar’e Stoudemire also talked about Williams. “Tonight was a game that we set out to win but Deron Williams played out of his mind tonight, he played phenomenal. He came out with an aggressivementality, and really set the tone early. He had it going, it was one of his nights. With a night like that it’s hard to stop those guys with Deron playing so well.”
Lin talked about the man playing point guard on the Nets as well. “Obviously, Deron Williams going for 30 or whatever he had is not going to get it done. I need to come out with more energy and the team needs to come out with more energy.”
Nets coach Avery Johnson raved about his star. “Deron was special tonight. We really wanted to try to attack their point guard position, keep their point guard involved offensively and not allow him to rest on offense, and it worked for us. To have a point guard be able to dominate games like that, we kept it really simple. Deron was on fire. We told him, even this morning, if you have some looks at three’s then take them. We know you can make them, but just be aggressive. If their point guard is not on you, we’ll try to figure out a way to get him back on you, but we want you to attack.”
Attack he did. With 8 points in the first quarter, 10 in the second, and a spectacular 18 points in the third quarter, including a 12-1 run in which he scored all 12 points and pushed the lead from 7 to 18 points. Deron was out to destroy Linsanity, and destroyed every defender who attempted to guard him.
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