Nets win OT thriller over Knicks in debut of city rivalry
The Nets told anyone who would listen that they were good. They proved it against the team they will be compared with for the remainder of the franchise’s history.
The Nets beat the Knicks 96-89 in overtime Monday night at the Barclays Center. The Nets improved to 9-3 while the Knicks are fell to 9-4. The teams are tied atop the Atlantic Division.
“We just came out and showed we were the better team,” Nets guard Joe Johnson said.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points and set season-highs with 11 rebounds and five blocks. Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace each scored 16 points. Williams also recorded a season-high in assists with 14. Jerry Stackhouse scored 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 22:13.
Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 35 points. Tyson Chandler finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds, but no other Knicks player had more than eight points.
In his 50:03 of playing time, Anthony grabbed 13 rebounds and shot 11-for-25 from the field but missed his last five shots, including a potential game-winner with 4.9 seconds left in regulation and two in the extra session.
“That’s a look I want,” Anthony said. “They made shots and we [were fatigued].”
Last night marked the first Brooklyn-New York in-season contest since the New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 3-2, at the Polo Grounds on Sept. 8, 1957. NBA Commissioner David Stern, Giants Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck, former Giants star Michael Strahan, musicians and Nets minority owner Jay-Z and Beyonce, actor Richard Gere, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, newscaster Charlie Rose, Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter and Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay were among the star-laden sellout crowd of 17,732 for the first regular season game between the intraborough franchises.
What they witnessed was a heavyweight title fight of a regular-season game as neither team led by more than seven. There were 14 lead changes and 13 ties. And a real rivalry may have been sparked by the unassuming Lopez. Midway through the first quarter, Lopez slammed J.R. Smith to the court as the Nets center attempted to block the Knicks sixth man’s dunk attempt.
Nets coach Avery Johnson has emphasized to his big men that they must defend the paint, and the hard foul was a realization of that directive.
“Brook was good,” Avery Johnson said. “Brook was good. He had five [blocked] shots.”
Tyson Chandler’s tip-in with 7:20 left tied the game at 70-70 and ended an eight-minute stretch in which the Knicks did not make a basket. During the Knicks’ 0-for-13 stretch from the field, the Nets turned a 64-59 deficit into a 70-68 lead.
From that point, the game turned into a tense affair, as the teams played playoff-style basketball. The Nets had a five-point lead, 81-76, with four minutes left following a Jerry Stackhouse 3-pointer and a Lopez dunk.
Anthony, Raymond Felton and Chandler scored the next five points and the Knicks led 84-81 with 1:38. But the Nets fought back to force overtime and in the extra period the Nets outscored the Knicks 12-5. Stackhouse’s corner three 1:29 into overtime gave the Nets a lead they would not relinquish.
“We really turned up our defense in overtime,” Avery Johnson said.
“Fatigue set in,” Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said. “It was a low-scoring game until the overtime period when the Nets got the breakout points that they needed.”
Jason Kidd did not travel with the Knicks due to back spasms. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Kurt Thomas. Ronnie Brewer left the game in the fourth quarter with a dislocated ring finger. A Knicks spokesman said X-rays were negative.
Follow Nets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.