DiVo, McBride & Knick DEFENSE Put On 4th Quarter Garden Party! NY 105 Brooklyn 93

Donte DiVincenzo lit up the start of the 4th quarter with dynamite play on both ends of the court, as he and Miles McBride and the Knicks DEFENSE turned a tie game into a Garden Party at Madison Square Garden on a Saturday afternoon, blowing out Brooklyn 105-92.

It was as fun a party as you could imagine:

  • DiVincenzo starting the period with slick drives and 3’s and intense defense with steals and blocked shots (en route to 31 pts).
  • Miles McBride — who combined with Jalen Brunson to light up the end of the 3rd quarter — helping him set the table with 3’s and steals (en route to 26 pts).
  • Isaiah Hartenstein blocking shots and getting SLAMS on the offensive end.
  • Josh Hart ripping down key rebounds, and almost being decapitated by a point-blank DiVincenzo pass that he wasn’t expecting, causing even the intense DiVincenzo to laugh at Hart’s reaction (as NY at that point was romping).
  • Jericho Sims starting the period with Great D, neutralizing Brooklyn’s Nic Claxton.
  • Walt Frazier audibly rooting for Nets shots to roll out of the rim, which they did.
  • And Brunson — whose floater wasn’t falling this afternoon as the Nets concentrated their D on him — was orchestrating — feeding Hartenstein down low multiple times en route to 8 assists to go with his 17 point total.

The Knicks Defense forced Brooklyn into rushed jumpers as the Nets went 8 minutes without a bucket after starting the period with a 3 by old friend Dennis Smith Jr to tie the game.

“Both guys hit timely buckets,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards about Deuce McBride and DiVincenzo.”Deuce was terrific; defensively because he’s chasing (Cam) Thomas around and he’s a load to deal with. And then Dante — that may have been his best game — timely baskets, big plays, hustle plays defensively. Josh the same thing. Tough plays; rebounding. And they were pounding us pretty good on the boards early on. Just getting that energy into the game was huge.”

NY improves to 42-28, and an Orlando loss to Sacramento in the evening means the Knicks are now back in sole possession of 4th place, a half game ahead of Orlando, and a game behind Cleveland. Brooklyn falls to 26-45.

1. McBride 3’s Fuel NY Early But Brooklyn Hangs Tough

This was a game where Jalen Brunson‘s floater wasn’t falling all night — he shot 7-24 overall — although he was 3-4 from 3. But Miles McBride — in the starting lineup with OG Anunoby out — more than made up for it.

McBride was red hot from 3 to start the game — going 3-3 from 3 in the 1st quarter, and adding a drive.

But the Brooklyn Nets would not go away. The Nets played a pesky defense throughout the game, hurt the Knicks on the boards, and got scoring from starters Mikal Bridges (18 pts on 7-14 shooting, 4-9 from 3), Cam Thomas (19 pts on 6-14 shooting, 1-5 from 3 but 6-6 in free throws), and Cameron Johnson (13 pts), with Dennis Schroder orchestrating.

The Nets bench proved pesky at the end of the 1st quarter, with Day’Ron Sharp getting buckets inside and Lonnie Walker IV hitting a 3 near the end of the period to give the Nets a 3-pt lead.

2. Bridges Hits 62-Foot Shot to End the Half

Donte DiVincenzo came on to lead the Knicks in scoring in the 2nd quarter, hitting 3’s and drives. His drive just before the half gave NY a 56-54 lead with 2.1 seconds left.

But Mikal Bridges heaved one up from 62 feet with the clock expiring and HIT it for a 3 to give Brooklyn a 57-56 halftime lead.

3. McBride & Brunson Lead NY Run at End of 3rd

Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas kept hitting their shot in the 3rd quarter as the Nets maintained a small lead.

Finally at the end of the 3rd the Knicks started to enforce their will:

  • McBride hit a 3 to pull NY to within 72-71 Brooklyn with 3:56 left in the quarter.
  • A Schroeder drive was countered by a Jalen Brunson tip shot, and then
  • Brunson knocked down a 3 and NY was on top 76-74.
  • McBride made a highlight-reel, super-quick drive to the basket with his left hand for a score, and
  • DiVincenzo hit a deuce and NY was up 6 at 80-74.

But Mikal Bridges found Cam Thomas who hit an off-balance 3 at the buzzer to pull Brooklyn back to within 3 at 80-77.

4. 4th Quarter Garden Party

And then Dennis Smith Jr hit a 3 to start the 4th and tie the game 80-80.

That’s when Donte DiVincenzo went into overdrive:

  • He hit a drive to give NY the lead,
  • He hit a 3 to give NY a 5-pt lead,
  • He hit another drive to give NY a 7-pt lead — after each score sprinting back to play a frenetic in-your-face defense on his man.

Josh Hart knifed in for an offensive rebound and put back and NY was up by 9.

DiVincenzo then:

  • Hit another 3 to put NY up by 12,
  • Blocked Schroeder’s drive inside on the next play,
  • Fouled Cam Thomas who hit 2 free throws,
  • Fed Hartenstein inside, who faked twice letting 2 Nets defenders fly by him one after another, then DUNKED for a 12-pt NY lead.

Donte DiVincenzo makes himself a threat whether the ball is in his hands creating off the bounce or playing off the ball to hit his jumper, or getting easy looks with his slashing/cutting,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “Also, creates his own opportunities with his activity on the glass and playing the passing lanes.”

Meanwhile DiVincenzo and the Knick DEFENSE had ratcheted up. Jericho Sims was neutralizing Nic Claxton to start the period, then Hartenstein came back in the game and added to the defense, and offense.

Miles McBride hit a 3, and Hartenstein DUNKED inside again off a Brunson pass and the route was on — NY up 99-84 with 4:35 left.

A Hartenstein drive-and-1 off a Brunson pass put NY up 102-84 with 3:59 left– and Brooklyn had not had a field goal in over 8 minutes.

Finally Dorian Finney-Smith made a drive for the Nets, but a play later, DiVincenzo stole the ball at midcourt and went in for a SLAM and 104-86 NY lead with 2 minutes left.

A fitting end to a 4th quarter Garden Party.


  • Precious Achiuwa only played 7 minutes while Sims got 23 minutes — Thibs said afterwards it was simply the matchups against Brooklyn. Bogdan Bogdonavic also got only 7 minutes.
  • Alec Burks played well in 15 minutes.
  • Patrick Ewing was at the game with his daughter, and gave a terrific interview at halftime, talking about how Brunson was always at his locker as a kid, how he had pictures of Brunson and his daughters as kids at Disneyland, and how Thibodeau was in the locker room of those 90’s Knicks getting them to play hard D.
  • On the broadcast in the 1st half the camera focused several times on Ewing in the stands with his daughter, and Mike Breen kept commenting how Ewing was going at the popcorn as intensely as he used to go at the basket. Then later said he wasn’t sharing the popcorn. Clyde chimed in. A funny afternoon — a Garden Party.

The Boxscore



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