Kyrie Irving scored 26 points against the team he spurned in the offseason as host Brooklyn Nets recorded a 113-109 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday.
Irving, who told reporters on Thursday that the Nets are "going to take over the whole entire city," did his best to follow up on that statement by scoring nine points in a late fourth-quarter run.
Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points to highlight five players with double-digit scoring for Brooklyn, which won three of four meetings against New York in the Battle of the Boroughs in 2018-19.
Allonzo Trier scored 22 and third overall pick RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox each chipped in 16 for the Knicks, who lost their second straight game despite shooting 68 percent (17 of 25) from 3-point range.
New York erased a 19-point deficit as former Brooklyn guard Wayne Ellington sank a pair of 3-pointers and Barrett added a bucket to give the Knicks a 109-106 lead with 3:41 left in the fourth quarter.
Irving answered with a pull-up jumper and a step-back 3-pointer to propel the Nets to a 111-109 advantage with 22.4 seconds remaining.
Julius Randle's bid to forge a tie was thwarted after the ball caromed off his foot and bounced out of bounds. Dinwiddie sank a pair of free throws to seal the win.
The first installment of the Battle of the Boroughs featured a hot-button moment late in the second quarter.
Bobby Portis attempted to wrestle the ball away from Irving, prompting Taurean Prince to shove the New York power forward and ignite a scuffle between the two Atlantic Division teams.
Portis and Prince were both whistled for technical fouls and play resumed.
Prince drained a pair of 3-pointers to give Brooklyn a 70-51 lead to begin the second half, the second of which was set up by a nifty between-the-legs pass from Irving.
Brooklyn enjoyed a 12-0 run to bookend the bridge between the first and second quarters and claim a 37-23 lead, with former Knick DeAndre Jordan igniting the run with an emphatic alley-oop dunk while Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert each drilled a step-back 3-pointer in the sequence.
New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia and slugger Aaron Judge were in attendance at Barclays Center.
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