The third matchup in the Battle of the Boroughs came to Madison Square Garden this week. The first two were extremely close games with Brooklyn defending their new home 96-89 in overtime of the first confrontation and the Knicks squeezing out a 100-97 win in the second.
Going into half time it looked as though New York might have another nail biter on its hands between the crosstown rivals—the Knicks led 52-48 having outscored the Nets by three in the first period and only one in the second. Brooklyn reversed their deficit after halftime, but the Knicks turned up the heat and went on a 25-7 run. They would hold their lead, defeating the Nets for a second time this season by a final of 100-86.
Once again, Carmelo Anthony did the heavy lifting, scoring 31 points as he returned from a sprained ankle. Tyson Chandler contributed admirably, putting up 16 points and 12 rebounds for a doube-double, while JR Smith knocked down 19 off the bench.
Brook Lopez and Deron Williams had double-doubles of their own as well. They both scored 16 with Lopez picking up 10 rebounds and Williams having 10 assists, but Joe Johnson’s 17 points seemed paltry by comparison to Anthony’s performance. There will be one last meeting between the two teams on January 21st.
This outcome comes at the heels of a 92-90 loss to the Utah Jazz for the Nets, who have now dropped 8 of their last 10 games after getting off to a strong start to the season. Now only 13-12, they host Philadelphia on the 23rd and Boston at noon on Christmas day.
The Knicks, now 19-6, continue to lead the Eastern conference (only Oklahoma City has a better record in basketball at 21-5). They will host the Bulls at 7:30 tonight and the Timberwolves at 5 PM on Sunday, before going to LA to play the Lakers at 3 o’clock on Christmas.