The “Battle of the Boroughs” for National Basketball Association supremacy in New York has produced a pair of dramatic finishes in its first two months.
Carmelo Anthony scored 45 points and Jason Kidd hit a decisive 3-pointer with 24 seconds left as the New York Knicks defeated the host Brooklyn Nets 100-97 last night.
The victory evens the season series 1-1 after the Nets, who moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn during the offseason and are trying to convert Knicks fans, won in overtime at home last month.
“Tonight was a tough win on the road, but we’ll take it,” Anthony, a native of Brooklyn, said in a television interview. “We made the plays.”
The Knicks (16-5) lead the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic division by four games over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets (11-9), who have lost five straight games, fell to third place.
New York has the best record in the Eastern Conference and plays its next six games at home, where it is 8-0 this season. The Los Angeles Lakers visit Madison Square Garden tomorrow night and the Nets play at New York on Dec. 19.
In Brooklyn last night, a large part of the crowd supported the Knicks and cheered for the visitors in the contest between teams from two of the five boroughs that make up New York City.
The Nets opened the game with a 21-5 run and led 30-16 after the first period. The Knicks trailed by four points at halftime and by five points after three quarters before outscoring Brooklyn 26-18 in the final period at the Barclays Center, the Nets’ new $1 billion home arena.
Andray Blatche had 23 points for Brooklyn, which was missing leading scorer Brook Lopez for the sixth straight game because of a sprained right foot. Deron Williams had 18 points and 10 assists for the Nets, while Reggie Evans had 18 rebounds.
Gerald Wallace scored 17 points for the Nets. He and Williams both missed 3-pointers in the closing seconds that would have tied the game after Kidd, 39, who spent 2001-2008 with the New Jersey Nets, broke a 97-97 tie with his 3-pointer.
“This was a winnable game,” Nets coach Avery Johnson told reporters. “We just couldn’t quite close it.”
The Nets outshot the Knicks, hitting 53 percent of their shots to 46 percent for the visitors. New York, however, hit 14 of its 28 3-pointers while the Nets went 4-for-18 from beyond the 3-point line.
The biggest difference was Anthony, 28, who played 44 of the game’s 48 minutes and hit 15 of his 24 shots, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. He added 10 points on free throws.
“What can you say?” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said in a news conference. “Tonight Carmelo wanted it so badly.”