Now, this Knicks-Nets rivalry is actually on.
If it hadn’t started when the Nets left New Jersey and set up shop in the Knicks’ city, it surely arrived when Jason Kidd delivered the tiebreaking 3-pointer, making himself an enemy of his former franchise.
”I hate him,” Nets guard Deron Williams said.
Williams was teasing, the point guards are friends. But Nets fans who studied Kidd ask out of the organization and Carmelo Anthony refuse to come could easily work up more dislike of the Knicks after watching those two Tuesday.
Anthony scored a season-high 45 points, Kidd made the tiebreaking shot with 24 seconds left, and the Knicks rallied from an early 17-point hole to beat Brooklyn Nets100-97.
Kidd finished with 18 points against his former team, who used to rule the New York Knicks when he played in New Jersey. He pumped his fist afterward in what he said was as much emotion as he shows, though denied taking any special pleasure in beating the Brooklyn Nets.
”I’m a rival. I’d like to win,” he revealed.
Now the series is tied at 1-1 since the Nets moved to Brooklyn, both games coming down to the tense last minutes.
”It is (a rivalry). I mean, after that first game, we might just as well accept that,” Anthony announced. ”It is what it is. They are on our division; we see them 4 times per year. It is a competition. It’s great for N.Y to have that in Brooklyn and in Manhattan. When we come here it’s a battle. When they come there, it should be a battle. We expect that.” Odds
Andray Blatche scored 23 points in the place of Brook Lopez, who missed his 6th straight game with a sprained right foot. Williams added 18 points and 10 assists, and Reggie Evans grabbed 18 rebounds, but the Nets lost their 5th straight.
Gerald Wallace scored 17 points, but both he and Williams missed potential tying 3-pointers on the last possession after Kidd broke a 97-all tie with his 3-pointer from the left hand side while being fouled by Jerry Stackhouse.
Kidd missed the free throw in an otherwise terrific effort for the 39-year-old point guard who helped carry the N.Y Knicks while fellow point guard Raymond Felton was struggling through a 3-for-12 night. Kidd had 6 rebounds and 6 assists, playing 38 minutes.
There were wild swings in momentum and crowd support in the second half, once the Knicks had gotten themselves untracked after the Nets threatened to run them off the floor in the 1st quarter.
The crowd was loud and active, the players and fans eventually matching the playoff-like intensity from the first meeting, a 96-89 Nets victory in overtime here on November 26. That had left both teams tied on top of the Atlantic Division at 9-4, but the Knicks have since gone 7-1 to rise to the head of the Eastern Conference, while Nets has gone 2-5.
It occasionally felt like a Knicks home game, with ”MVP! MVP!” chants for Anthony – which the Knicks think he deserves.