Knicks’ recipe for another lost lead was twofold


What is the recipe for losing a 13-point lead in fewer than eight minutes? Add turnovers to offensive rebounds allowed.

That’s what the Knicks did Monday in the third quarter of a 114-12 loss that felt like a missed opportunity to capitalize on the Nets playing with two-thirds of their Big Three — Kevin Durant and James Harden — out for all or most of the game.

“I thought we played a very good first half,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The start of the third [quarter] was good. We didn’t close out the third well. We didn’t have a lot of turnovers, but we had costly ones. And the second shots hurt us.”

The Nets grabbed 11 offensive rebounds to the Knicks’ five and the disparity was greater on the scoreboard, with a 26-2 edge on second-chance points. The Knicks committed seven (RJ Barrett four, Julius Randle three) of their 12 turnovers in the third quarter.

“I just want to be on the other side, the winning side,” Barrett said. “Whatever we have to do — whatever mistakes we are making in the game — we have to try to clean those up. You see how close we are.”

In center Mitchell Robinson’s absence, the Knicks signed 6-foot-9 eight-year NBA veteran John Henson to a 10-day contract.

“He’s shown the ability to protect the rim,” Thibodeau said.

The Knicks still plan to give the majority of minutes to Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson, but Henson — a former first-round draft pick of the Bucks — seems to overlap with the recent addition of Norvel Pelle. Neither played Monday against the Nets.

“The bottom line is Nerlens and Taj have played very well,” the defense-oriented Thibodeau said. “Both [Henson and Pelle] are insurance for us. We like their size. We like the shot-blocking ability, which we think is critical. We felt we wanted to get a look at both guys.”

Thibodeau knows Nets stars Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving from his stint as an assistant coach for Team USA.

“I know the type of competitors they are,” Thibodeau said. “I know what they respect. I know we respect them. When you are out there in the middle of the game, I know they are trying to take our heads off and we are trying to take theirs off. Let’s go, and after the game we can talk about the good old days.”

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