EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - No matter how bleak things look for the New York Knicks, they can take comfort knowing worse basketball is being played nearby.
And if the Nets don’t win soon, they could be off to the worst start in NBA history.
Al Harrington and Danilo Gallinari each scored 17 points, and New York dropped New Jersey to 0-13 with a 98-91 victory Saturday.
The Nets inched closer to the NBA record of 17 losses to start a season, held by Miami (1988-89) and the Los Angeles Clippers (1989-90). They’ll try to avoid it during a difficult four-game trip out West that starts with back-to-back games at Denver and Portland, capped by a visit to the Los Angeles Lakers.
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“I’ve never been in a situation like this,” Nets guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. “I really can’t describe the feeling I have right now. I take every loss very hard, but this many losses without a win, I really don’t know what to feel.
“I don’t know where I’m at right now. Mentally, it’s tough.”
David Lee added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who have won two consecutive games after a 1-9 start that was the worst in franchise history.
“We didn’t want to be that team, obviously with them being a team that’s right across the river,” Harrington said.
Douglas-Roberts scored 24 points and Brook Lopez had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who shot 4-for-18 from 3-point range and barely broke 90 points against one of the NBA’s worst defensive teams.
“It’s frustrating all the way around and you can see it on guys’ faces,” Nets guard Devin Harris said.
Harris finished with 12 points, while Rainier Beach High graduate Terrence Williams had 17.
The loss could put more pressure on Nets coach Lawrence Frank, who won his first 13 games after he was promoted in January 2004 and now has a losing streak that matches it.
According to STATS LLC, there hadn’t been an NBA game matching teams who had each played at least 11 games and combined to win so few of them since Dec. 3, 1994, when Minnesota was 2-13 as it hosted the 0-14 Clippers.