Carmelo Anthony broke the 30-point mark for the third straight game, hanging 39 on the New Jersey Nets as the New York Knicks took a 120-116 victory over their cross-river rivals on national TV on Wednesday. The Nets' offense was nearly unstoppable in the first half, as N.J. hung 68 on the board by halftime and led by 10. But New York retook the paint in the second half, and Brook Lopez (22 points in the first half, four in the second) calmed way down.
New York's defense wasn't good in the second half, per se; Anthony Morrow popped in 14 in the third quarter himself, and Deron Williams -- back from a wrist injury -- scored 16 after the break. But the Knicks stemmed the bleeding just enough, and their offense was immaculate. The game was close the entire fourth quarter; the Nets made mistakes that the Knicks were able to capitalize on.
One of those was a three-point foul by Jordan Farmar on Chauncey Billups that allowed New York to tie the game; the most egregious was perhaps Travis Outlaw's traveling violation in transition with the score knotted at 114 and 90 seconds left. 'Melo responded with a jumper for his only two points of the fourth, and the Knicks would never trail again.
The Knicks are now 37-38. They next play Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that has beaten New York three times this season.