On Tuesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Knicks (16-5) defeated the Brooklyn Nets (11-9) by the score of 100-97. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with a season high 45 points on 15-24 shooting with five rebounds and three assists. The 45 points is tied for the most scored in the NBA the season (James Harden, 45 vs. Detroit).
Jason Kidd scored 18 points on 6-9 shooting (6-8 from three) and broke a 97-97 tie with 24 seconds left with a three pointer plus a foul on Jerry Stackhouse (Missed the Free Throw). He also had six assists and six rebounds with zero turnovers.
Andray Blatche led the Nets in scoring with 23 points on 9-13 shooting from the field. Deron Williams had 18 points and Joe Johnson had 16 points. Williams was 1-6 from three, including missing the game tying three with two seconds remaining.
Anthony’s 45 points was the most points ever scored in the short history of the Barclays Center
The Knicks outscored the Nets 84-67 the final three quarters of the game.
The Knicks shot 50% from three (14-28) while the Nets shot 22% (4-18)
The Knicks are now 11-2 this season against the Eastern Conference
The Knicks are now 8-5 on the road this season, 1-1 at the Barclays Center.
So before the game the Knicks in talking to the media, tried to give off a vibe that tonight is another game and, that it was no big deal. Well from what we all saw on the court, heard from the crowd and from the way this one ended, it was anything but just another game. As horrific as the first quarter was for the Knicks, that’s how great it was for them at the end. Carmelo Anthony was a scoring machine, Jason Kidd laughed in the face of Father Time and J.R. Smith was gutsy for the Knicks tonight. Sometimes we over value certain wins during the season, but this one deserves its place right next to the Spurs and Heat wins this season for the Knicks.
Tonight, we start with the frontrunner for NBA MVP this season, Carmelo Anthony, when discussing this win for the Knicks. Melo in the game against Denver was the closer and once again he helped to slam the door against the Nets tonight. 45 points on 25 shots is a great ratio and shows just how effective he was. He drove the lane, hit the mid range jumper and was money from three hitting 5-7 from deep. He is a superstar in the league and tonight he showed why he has earned that status. When the Knicks were struggling early in this game, Melo stepped up, especially in the 2nd quarter where all 14 of his points in the quarter were key in getting them back in the game. Then you have to credit him for passing the ball late in the game when he saw the double team coming, setting up the ball movement that led to the game winning three from Jason Kidd.
Speaking of Jason Kidd, he had another brilliant game tonight. After missing the first game between these two teams, Kidd came up big shooting 6-8 from three including the one that proved to be the difference. The 18 points really seem like an added bonus when you consider he added six boards, six assists and didn’t turn the ball over in 37 minutes. He struggled early in the game defensively trying to guard some much bigger and quicker guys on switches but that is a small price to pay for his brilliance on the offensive side of the ball. Tonight showed just how important Jason Kidd is to this team and all his teammates after the game did nothing but praise him for all that he brings to the table.
One of my favorite memories as a kid was the Larry Johnson four point play in the playoffs against the Pacers in 1999 and the game winner by Kidd brought back a lot of memories of that legendary play. (H/T once again to Jonah Kaner of The Knicks Wall)
J.R. Smith was a warrior tonight as he would not let Mike Woodson take him out of the game when his back had to be hurting a lot. His 16 points off the bench really were key, especially in the third quarter when the Nets looked like they could build another big lead and win. Raymond Felton struggled again as he was 3-12 (6-31 in two games at Barclays) for 8 points with seven assists but he also had seven turnovers. Kidd and Anthony were a combined 11-15 for three with Rasheed Wallace knocking down his two, three point attempts as well, which made all three of them 13-17 from deep. Tyson Chandler had a nice game but did not establish himself like in other games recently, which was surprising considering Brook Lopez was out.
The Nets did a great job of taking advantage of all the switching the Knicks did create mismatches and dominated the paint all night long, especially since they were without Brook Lopez. The first quarter they played was a textbook way to take advantage of the Knicks lack of energy and they played like their lives depended on this game. That being said, the Knicks really shut them down in the fourth and the lack of three point shooting from the Nets really hurt them in the end. Blatche and Evans were great in this game and did a nice job stepping up in the absence of Lopez. But this is a tough one for them to bounce back from as blowing a 17 point lead at home is rough, especially against the team they are trying to overtake in this city.
The Knicks had to battle for pretty much the entire game after a horrible start to get this win, but what a win it was. The fact that the three Kidd hit to win it gave the Knicks their biggest lead of the game says it all about how hard this comeback was. They now have another day off before beginning a six game home stand which includes a couple of reunions that should do wonders for Carmelo’s intensity. At the end of the day, the Knicks earned this win tonight and we may look back at this night as the one where a budding rivalry started to bloom.
Coming up next, the Knicks are back at the Garden looking to stay undefeated at home and start a week of reunions as they take on Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and former coach Mike D’antoni and the Los Angeles Lakers. The game will begin at 8:00 pm on Thursday and will be shown on TNT.