NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets looked like the “laughingstock of the NBA” last time they faced the New York Knicks. Not this time. The Nets avenged their 30-point loss to the Knicks earlier in the season with a 103-80 blowout win Monday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. “Brooklyn!” chants could be heard inside loud and clear -- that is, when Knicks fans weren’t booing or chanting, “Fire Woodson!”
WHAT IT MEANS: The Nets (17-22) are 7-1 since the New Year -- which, of course, coincides with coach Jason Kidd losing his tie. Can’t forget that. They are 5-0 when starting Shaun Livingston, Alan Anderson, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Kidd won his coaching debut at MSG.
Brooklyn’s length on defense and New York’s sloppiness on offense was the perfect combination. The Knicks (15-26) shot just 33.8 percent from the field and had 17 turnovers. The Nets are now 6-0 when holding their opponent under 40 percent shooting.
Johnson had 20 of his team-high 26 points in the first half. He added five rebounds and six assists. Andray Blatche came off the bench to pour in 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting. The Nets shot 49.3 percent from the floor and had 25 assists -- one more than the Knicks had field goals.
Carmelo Anthony had 26 points on 8-for-19 shooting. He also had no help.
D-WILL RETURNS: Deron Williams had 13 points and three assists in 27 minutes in his return to the lineup after missing the last five games due to ankle injuries. His jumper looked rusty, but the way the Nets are playing, they can afford to ease him back in.
Williams came off the bench for the first time since Feb. 22, 2006, entering at the 5:15 mark of the first quarter. He got into the lane for a floater on his first offensive possession.
Williams appeared to injure his right hand at the end of the first half after colliding with Anthony on a drive. But he stayed in the game, scoring 11 of his points in the fourth quarter.
GOTTA GO TO JOE: Johnson had 11 points in the first quarter and nine more in the second. It was the third time in his last four games Johnson had as many as 20 at the half. Johnson has scored 67 points in his last six first quarters.
UP NEXT: The Nets host the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night at Barclays Center.