KNICKS 100 NETS 86 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
The Knicks effectively washed out the bitter taste in their mouth from their first home loss of the season on Monday night.
With a borough rivalry building, New York dispatched Brooklyn 100-86 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony returned after missing two games due to an ankle injury and he instantly bounced back to MVP form. Starting at the power forward position, Anthony dropped a game-high 31 points to help the Knicks improve to 19-6 on the season.
It was a back-and-forth contest for three quarters until New York busted loose in the final six minutes of the third period. During a 16-6 spurt to close the third frame, Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler connected on an alley-oop, J.R. Smith drove and kicked to Chris Copeland for a 3-ball, and Pablo Prigioni found Chandler for another punishing oop to provide New York with an eight-point advantage.
Chandler’s play was inspiring in the crucial third quarter as he scored 10 of his 16 points and ripped down three of his 12 boards. His high-flying attack ignited the home crowd and crushed the Nets momentum.
Prigioni opened the final stanza with a 3-pointer and Smith finished a driving layup to push the lead to 12 points early in the quarter. Smith registered 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the third meeting between the two teams.
Steve Novak did not suit up for the contest with flu-like symptoms and Rasheed Wallace continues to nurse a sore foot. The Knicks own a 2-1 series lead over Brooklyn and will face the Atlantic Division foe one more time at MSG on January 21.
“We know they are right across the bridge. Brooklyn and the New York Knicks will always be there, it will always be a rivalry from here on out and we accept that challenge.” -- Carmelo Anthony
Anthony’s offensive game is on autopilot this season. The MVP candidate needed little time to find his groove en route to 31 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the floor. He continues to hit the long ball with efficiency as seen in the 4-for-8 outing on Wednesday night.
New York only registered eight turnovers and forced 14 miscues from the Nets that resulted in 16 points for the Knicks.
The Knicks head back to MSG Training Center for a practice session on Thursday afternoon and will have one day to prepare for the visiting Bulls on Friday night. New York has two more home games on the docket before heading to Los Angeles for a Christmas Day matchup against the Lakers.