Devin Harris’ injured left leg was the talk of the Nets locker room after their 111-100 loss to the Knicks on Tuesday night.
But Harris’ injury overshadowed an impressive offensive performance from Brook Lopez.
Lopez finished with a season-high 36 points on 14-of-24 shooting. He pulled down just five rebounds though and had a hand in allowing the Knicks to score 60 points in the paint. Amare Stoudemire (35 points, nine rebounds) did plenty of damage against Lopez as well.
Lopez scored 13 points after Harris left the game and the Knicks focused their defensive efforts on Lopez. Avery Johnson was critical of the Nets’ perimeter shooters, who were unable to take advantage when the Knicks clamped down on Lopez.
“They threw the whole kitchen sink at (Lopez),” Johnson said. “They sent the whole team and we just didn’t make good decisions on the perimeter. They were playing us kind of five on four there and we weren’t making them pay. Then we subbed our and tried to get some of our shooters in and the shots just didn’t go down tonight.”
HURTING WITH HARRIS: Things fell apart for the Nets after Harris left the floor with 6:20 to go in the third. The Nets also struggled for a stretch late in the second quarter when Harris wasn't on the floor.
Johnson subbed Harris for Jordan Farmar with 2:33 to go in the second so Harris wouldn’t pick up a foul before halftime.
The Nets built a nine-point lead with 1:05 to go in the second, but they allowed the Knicks to close on a 6-0 run capped by an alley-oop dunk by Stoudemire.
“We were a little sluggish,” Lopez said. “Those are the kind of stretches that really hurt us.”