It wasn’t even close.

If we follow the late legendary definition of Kobe Bryant, competition is only competition if the two teams involved beat each other from time to time.

The Knicks have not defeated the Nets since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020.

That didn’t change on Wednesday night.

The so-called rivalry between neighborhoods is just as uneven as the final result was just hours later Nets GM Sean Marks introduced Jacque Vaughn as a full-time replacement for Steve Nash at the head coach. The Nets overtook the Knicks at both ends of the court, moved the ball, fired shots and stopped regularly in Wednesday’s 112-85 win at the Barclays Center.

“Regardless of the performance of each team, it will always be a competition, no matter who is on the court,” said striker star Kevin Durant. “There will always be competition because the fans in New York are so passionate and they love the sport so much there will always be competition.”

It was another performance that highlighted precisely why Marx felt comfortable promoting Vaughn. The Nets (5-7) are now 3-2 in matches coached by Vaughn, who have won three of their last four games.

Current Knicks fans, who wore the notorious orange and blue colors, never had a chance to enter the game as the Nets opened it wide in the opening minutes of the first quarter.

They were only heard in the fourth quarter when they became restless while Brooklyn’s lead grew to over 30. Knicks fans started booing of Evan Fournier after he bricked up the wide-open three from the board on the left wing.

“You f … sucks!” one Knicks fan yelled from the stands after a miss.

The video of Durant talking to Knicks fans became popular on Twitter early in the game. Durant improved his personal best against the Knicks to 21-3 all time. Since he joined the Nets network a few years ago, he’s now 8-0 against them.

“As long as I’m wearing a Nets T-shirt, I always am – if I see a Knicks fan I’ll always give him a thumbs down or just give them a little bit about being a Knicks fan,” Durant said. “So it only increases the competition and fans feel more involved if they see a player involved in the competition. So it’s all fun.

There were plenty of misses – 59 to be exact – for the Knicks and not so much for the Nets, led by Durant, whose ability to fire multiple shots in Julius Randle’s contest forced Randle to hold his head in disbelief.

Durant and Randle often pounced on each other as opposing captains of New York’s two professional basketball teams. On one possession, Durant shot three over Randle’s hand, and they both laughed on the way back to the court as the shot hit.

The laugh, however, only lasted for one team. Durant ended up with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, but received help from four other teammates, all of whom scored double the number. Meanwhile, Randle led the Knicks with 24 points, but the Knicks had trouble firing in Tom Thibodeau’s stagnant att*ck.

Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett were the only Knicks players to score double-digit points.

The nets never dragged themselves wire-to-wire in their victory. There were a lot of factors at play with another win that brings the Nets closer to 0.500.

The ball practically never got stuck at the Nets on Wednesday night, except when Durant used the items in his possession as his personal mission to get on Randle early in the game.

The Nets recorded 30 assists – with a Durant 12 – on 42 field shots. Eight different players had at least one assists.

Some are added by subtraction: without Irving, the dominant scorer in the ball, the nets had to be scored by the committee. Most importantly, however, it was Brooklyn’s improved defense created more scoring opportunities thanks to the sheer skill of a team not fighting a set defense every time they stepped onto the floor.

This defense will be put to the test as the Nets embark on a four-match tour of the West Coast against both Los Angeles-based star teams and Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers.

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