NETS 96 KNICKS 89 OT | BARCLAYS CENTER
How it happened:
Rivalry or not, the inaugural meeting between the Knicks and Nets in Brooklyn was an absolute nail-bitter on Monday night. In a make-up game for the cancellation that occurred on opening night due to Hurricane Sandy, the Nets defended their home floor, defeating New York 96-89.
Entering the extra session, the Knicks looked primed to take the first game of the series on a Raymond Felton to Tyson Chandler pick-and-roll combination that was extremely successful throughout the game. However, a Jerry Stackhouse corner 3-pointer at the 3:17 mark and a driving layup from Gerald Wallace halted a potential road victory for New York.
Brooklyn native, Carmelo Anthony was brilliant while lighting up the Nets for a game-high 35 points but he was held scoreless in the final seven minutes. Chandler recorded his best performance of the season, scoring 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the floor and 10 boards.
After an extremely even, back-and-forth battle through three quarters, the game intensity drastically increased towards the end of the third quarter. New York seemed to grab the momentum when Felton hit Chandler on a perfect pick-and-roll play for the two-handed flush. Rasheed Wallace then drilled a 3-pointer, followed by a great defensive possession as the Knicks forced a 24-second violation. At this point New York held a 66-59 lead with 2:15 remaining in the third period.
From that point to the 10:17 mark of the fourth quarter, Brooklyn fired back on an 11-1 run. The two teams exchanged buckets again before Brooklyn created five-point lead on a Deron Williams to Brook Lopez fast break connection with 3:57 left in the game. Lopez scored 10 of his 22 in the final period.
A huge play occurred after Felton missed a shot attempt and Lopez snatched the loose ball. Felton popped the ball out of Lopez’ hands from behind and Chandler found Anthony for the 3-ball. Just a few moments later, Anthony forced his way to the rim to hand back New York the 82-81 lead. To cap the big 8-0 run, Chandler smashed a putback dunk with 1:38 on the game clock and the Knicks held a three-point lead.
The Nets eventually tied the game at 84-84 when Lopez hit 1-of-2 at the charity stripe. With a chance to win the game in regulation, Anthony narrowly missed a pull-up isolation jumper on the left side of the floor.
Prior to tipoff, head coach Mike Woodson was unsure about his starting lineup and needed to check with team doctors before making a final decision. As it turns out, Jason Kidd was unable to suit up due to lower back spasms. Woodson rolled with a much bigger starting lineup without Kidd's availability, sliding Ronnie Brewer to the shooting guard spot, moving Anthony to small forward, and placing Kurt Thomas at the 4.
Chandler could have easily earned the honor tonight with his spectacular play on both ends of the floor. Anthony was too good to overlook with his 35 points on 11-of-25 attempts from the floor, which included 3-of-5 long bombs. In 50 minutes of gritty action, Anthony heard chants of MVP as he worked the glass for 13 boards.
"They controlled the tempo in overtime, they made shots. Stackhouse came up big for them tonight; hitting a couple of corner threes and I think that was the changing of the game. In overtime, we kind of got fatigued a little bit. For the most part, what Stackhouse was able to do; he was a big key to that win tonight." -- Carmelo Anthony
Heading into the matchup, New York wanted to improve its interior defense and see an increase in rebounding numbers. For the most part, the Knicks hit on those objectives, only allowing eight more points in the paint, even on the boards, and won the second chance points category 22-17.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, this is the first time since 1977 since the Nets have hosted the Knicks in New York state. Additionally, it’s the first time ever the two teams entered the contest with a winning percentage above . 600.
After the contest in Brooklyn, the Knicks made the short trip home where they will have a day to rest before heading to Milwaukee. On Wednesday night, New York is back on the road to face the Bucks.