It wasn't the prettiest game in the world, but the first Battle of the Boroughs between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets did not disappoint. Both Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams came up with big performances, but the rest of the Nets stepped up in the overtime session to lead Brooklyn to a 96-89 win.
The Nets finally pulled away for good midway through the overtime after the two teams played to a standstill in regulation. Errant shots by Raymond Felton and Anthony ruined Knicks possessions, while the Nets seemingly got whatever they wanted on their end. Two post-ups for Joe Johnson led to a corner three for Jerry Stackhouse and two free throws for Gerald Wallace, and Wallace later put the Nets up six with 2:21 remaining with a right-handed finger roll. The Nets came up empty on two possessions in the final minute and a half, but the Knicks could only muster one Anthony free throw in that span.
Williams did not shoot especially well, but he ended up with 16 points and 14 assists. Brook Lopez had 22 points to lead the Nets, while Stackhouse stepped up with 14 off the bench. For the Knicks, Anthony and Tyson Chandler scored 35 and 28, respectively, but Anthony did not score in the final seven minutes of regulation and through overtime. You can place a lot of blame at Felton's feet for that; the Knicks' point guard was 3-19 from the field and made several poor decisions late in the game.
It looked like the Nets would pull away when Williams found Lopez streaking in transition for a dunk to give the Nets a five-point lead with just over four minutes left in regulation. But the Knicks rallied again, just as they had all game. A steal by Felton gave Anthony an open three to start things, and a Felton jumper gave the Knicks the lead with 1:53 remaining.
The Knicks came close to pulling out the win in regulation, when Lopez was called for an offensive foul with 57 seconds remaining for charging into Tyson Chandler, but a Felton miss on the other end set up a beautiful pick and roll between Williams and Lopez that led to a foul. Lopez hit one of two free throws to tie the game, and Anthony and Williams traded missed shots to send it to overtime.
Anthony truly came alive late in the second quarter. He drove on Wallace and drew fouls. He hit open three-pointers. He gave Wallace jab-steps and pulled up for mid-range jumpers. At one point, he scored 18 of the Knicks' 24 points to help them push ahead in the third quarter. But the Nets rallied back with a strong close to the third quarter, led by inspired play from Keith Bogans. His three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Nets a one-point lead entering the fourth.
The Nets and Knicks are now both 9-4 on the season.