The Brooklyn Nets were supposed to be a suitable rival for the New York Knicks. After eking out a home win in November, the Nets have not played their part in the so-called rivalry. The Knicks beat the Nets in Brooklyn thanks to Carmelo Anthony in their second meeting of the season. With Anthony hot again and at home, Brooklyn never really had a chance.
The game was close early. But the Nets simply cannot guard Anthony. He shot 12 for 22 for 31 points, his worst game against Brooklyn this season so far. He was 4 for 8 from three. Anthony is 38 for 71 (53.5%) from the field, and 12 for 20 (60%) from three point range against Brooklyn this season. He's averaging 37 ppg in those three contests.
J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland were efficient off the bench. In 15 combined attempts from the floor, they missed only 5 of them. Smith scored 19. Tyson Chandler has placed a mortgage on the paint. He grabbed 12 rebounds, not including his customary back-taps to teammates. He scored 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting. He leads the league in field goal %.
Raymond Felton struggled to shoot again. But the pick and roll with Chandler was a work of art. Chandler's points were mostly alley oops from Felton. Jason Kidd also shot poorly again, but contributed in other ways.
Many believe the Knicks' success is an aberration. They claim that the Knicks shoot too many threes and their hot shooting can't possibly keep up. Those people haven't been watching the games. The Knicks shot poorly from distance in this one. The Nets and Knicks shot similarly from the field and made a similar number of threes. They acquired a similar number of rebounds. There were two major differences. The Knicks got to the line more often and turned the ball over less often.
The Knicks won 100-86 to advance to 19-6 and maintain the best record in the Eastern Conference.