Clearly, Deron Williams took this whole “Linsanity” thing personally.
Williams was torched by Jeremy Lin on Feb. 4 for 25 points and seven assists, in the Harvard grad’s first opportunity to play major minutes. Lin went on to lead the Knicks to seven wins in their next eight games.
On Monday, Williams returned the favor. The New Jersey point guard went off for 38 points on 10-for-22 shooting. He hit a career-high eight 3-pointers to lift the Nets to their 10th win of the season.
Lin finished with 21 points on 7-for-18 shooting. He had nine assists and three turnovers. The Knicks (16-17) lost for the second time in 10 games since Lin began playing significant minutes.
THE BAD: You can’t blame Carmelo Anthony for this loss. The Knicks forward returned for the first time in seven games but didn’t ruin the Knicks’ flow, as many had predicted he would. He had 11 points and six assists. He made four of 11 shots.
The Knicks really struggled guarding the perimeter (they missed Iman Shumpert, who was out with a left knee injury). The Nets torched the Knicks from beyond the arc, hitting 15 of their 31 attempts. They were led by Williams, who hit eight of 14 3-point attempts. The Nets shot just 39 percent from the floor, so the outside shooting was the difference.
FOUL TROUBLE: Tyson Chandler picked up his fourth foul with 6:36 to play in the third in a skirmish with Kris Humphries. Chandler and Humphries got into it again midway through the fourth, and Chandler picked up a technical, relegating him to the bench once again.
In an unrelated note, Garden fans got on Humphries again, booing him each time he touched the ball. Humphries was briefly married to reality star Kim Kardashian.
THE GOOD: Baron Davis made his season debut for the Knicks. He finished with three points and an assist in 10 minutes. He should help the team with depth at point guard, which has been an issue all season.
Landry Fields had 10 points (5-for-10) and 11 rebounds. Amare Stoudemire had 17 but just four rebounds.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Knicks take on the Atlanta Hawks (19-13) in New York on Wednesday, the first game of a back-to-back that concludes in Miami on Thursday to close out the first half of the season.