National Basketball Association
NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets have been a rejuvenated team since Jeremy Lin returned from a hamstring injury.
In his 11th game back Thursday, Lin provided a spark, especially in the second half of Brooklyn's 121-110 win over the New York Knicks, his former team, at Madison Square Garden.
Lin scored 15 points and recorded eight assists for the Nets (13-54), who won on the road for just the fifth time this season and snapped a 33-game road losing streak to Eastern Conference teams.
Since his return from missing 26 games with the injury, Lin has averaged 14.7 points and four assists. However, Brooklyn is just 4-7 since he returned.
On Thursday, Lin engineered a second-half comeback by notching nine points and three assists in the critical third quarter, when the Nets outscored the Knicks 38-26. The Nets nailed 6 of 7 3-pointers, two from Lin, to turn a seven-point deficit into a five-point lead entering the fourth.
"Jeremy gives us huge confidence," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "He's our motor. He was lifting the group up in every timeout.
"It wasn't the coaches; it was the guys picking each other up."
The Nets made five straight 3-pointers at one point in the third, turning around the game after they had made just 2 of 16 from long range in the first half. They finished 10 of 31 from beyond the arc after hitting 18 3's against New York on Sunday.
"We had to dig deep tonight," Lin said. "It came down to how well you want it. I'm trying to get us (Nets) as many wins as I can and control the game.
"When I was out, I felt like the guys were struggling in terms of getting the ball in spots they wanted to get them in. That's something I can try to do when I come back, to bring that kind of organization."
Brook Lopez scored 24 points and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson contributed a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes for the Nets.
Kyle O'Quinn topped the Knicks with a season-high 23 points off the bench. Derrick Rose added 22 points, Carmelo Anthony had 17, and Lance Thomas contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.
New York was trying to win two straight games for the first time since Dec. 20 and 22. The Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers 87-81 on Tuesday but let a seven-point halftime lead against Brooklyn vanish.
The two rivals split the season series at 2-2, with Brooklyn winning the last two meetings.
Hollis-Jefferson's two free throws pushed the Nets' lead to 115-104 with 2:31 left.
A putback from forward Caris LeVert extended Brooklyn's lead to 107-97 with 7:09 to play.
The Nets used a 9-2 burst to move ahead 81-75 after Lopez's jumper with 4:18 left in the third quarter. Lopez scored 11 points in the quarter.
"(Brooklyn) drove by us in the second half," a frustrated Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We had several opportunities to build the lead up when we were up by nine, but we missed three straight shots.
"We gave them 3-pointers and free throws in the second half. You can't win like that."
The Knicks were effective getting to the rim in the first half. Rose produced 14 points and O'Quinn added 11 points in 12 minutes for a 61-54 halftime lead.
Brooklyn was plagued by its long shooting in the first half, misfiring on 14 of 16 3-point attempts.
NOTES: The Nets are 11-9 against the Knicks since moving to Brooklyn in 2012. ... The Nets signed G Archie Goodwin to a 10-day contract. Goodwin was playing in the NBA Development League, where he was averaging 17 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 32.7 minutes per game with the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte's affiliate. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said Goodwin could see action on Friday or Sunday. "He's got to get his feet under him," Atkinson said. "Get a few practices under his belt (and) we can throw him in against the Celtics (Friday) or the Mavs (Sunday) and see where he is." ... Knicks C Kristaps Porzingis was out with a bruised thigh. ... Nets G Joe Harris missed his seventh consecutive game due to a concussion and a sprained left shoulder. ... Brooklyn G Sean Kilpatrick was out with a sore left hamstring.
Top Game Performances
Brook Lopez 24
Kyle O'Quinn 23
Jeremy Lin 8
Carmelo Anthony 5
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 10
Lance Thomas 10
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 6
||Free Throws Made
Derrick Rose 8
Jeremy Lin 2
Carmelo Anthony 1
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 1
Carmelo Anthony 1
Team Stats Summary
New York will play their next game on the road against LA Clippers. The Knicks have a W/L % of .286 after a win and .463 after a loss.
Brooklyn will play their next game at home against Boston. The Nets have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .236 after a loss.