Nets Beat Knicks to Cut New York’s Lead in Division to One Game

Joe Johnson scored 25 points as the Brooklyn Nets evened their season series with the New York Knicks in an 88-85 win at Madison Square Garden.

Johnson hit a 16-foot jump shot with 22.3 seconds remaining to give the Nets an 85-84 advantage last night. Deron Williams then made three of four foul shots as the Nets (25-16) moved to within a game of the Knicks (25-14) for the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division lead.

The Nets took a 47-41 lead into halftime before the Knicks rallied with 10 straight third-quarter points, taking a 68-65 advantage heading into the final period.

“When they made a run we were still able to bounce back,” Johnson, who went 5-of-8 from 3-point range, said in a televised interview after the game. “Last time we were in here, they made a run on us and we never recovered.”

The teams are tied 2-2 since the Nets moved to Brooklyn from Newark, New Jersey, at the beginning of the National Basketball Association season.

Carmelo Anthony, who scored a game-high 29 points and had seven assists to lead the Knicks, shot an air ball from the baseline with under 10 seconds remaining and Williams hit two free throws -- his 51st and 52nd in a row -- to give the Nets an 87-84 lead with 8.3 seconds on the clock.

Jason Kidd then was intentionally fouled, making one of two free throws, and Williams again was sent to the line, missing his first attempt and sinking the second. A last-second shot by the Knicks’ J.R. Smith that would have sent the game to overtime bounced off the backboard and rim.

Nets Turnovers

The Knicks’ turned the ball over five times, compared with 19 for the Nets, who entered the game having won eight of their past nine contests. It was the first game for the Knicks since they beat the Detroit Pistons 102-87 in London on Jan. 17.

The New Orleans Hornets beat the Sacramento Kings 114-105, led by 27 points from forward Ryan Anderson off the bench. The NBA announced yesterday that the Kings were sold, pending approval of the league’s team owners, to a group that would move the franchise to Seattle.

Elsewhere yesterday it was Chicago 95, the Los Angeles Lakers 83; San Antonio 90, Philadelphia 85; Golden State 106, the Los Angeles Clippers 99; Indiana 82, Memphis 81; Houston 100, Charlotte 94; Atlanta 104, Minnesota 96; and Washington 98, Portland 95.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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