Crosstown rivalries are supposed to be more competitive.
But after beating the New York Knicks in their last visit to Madison Square Garden, the New Jersey Nets seemed to lose interest shortly after crossing the Hudson River on Monday. The result was a 107-90 loss at New York.
"It's tough to win when the guys don't show up," said Net Coach Butch Beard. "We did not match their intensity off the bat. They beat us to every loose ball, every rebound. Consequently, we got our brains beat out."
Playing without center Benoit Benjamin for the third consecutive game, the Nets had no one to stop Patrick Ewing, who had a season-high 32 points and 15 rebounds in 36 minutes.
"I wasn't double-teamed, and I was surprised, because the Nets always try to double me and take me out of the game," Ewing said. "But I didn't draw the double, probably because the team is shooting so well from outside."
But the outcome was decided so early that the Knicks didn't need their outside shooting to win for the ninth time in 10 games. They built a 62-41 halftime advantage and took a 77-51 lead on a three-point basket by Hubert Davis with 3:40 to play in the third quarter.