Nets beat Knicks to split four-game series

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm •  Published: January 21, 2013
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New York shut Brooklyn out over the next 5 minutes while scoring seven in a row, regaining the lead on Anthony's free throws with 40 seconds to play. But the Nets got the ball on the next possession to Johnson, who dribbled right toward the baseline and pulled up for the go-ahead basket.

Anthony missed badly on the next possession and the Knicks fouled Williams, who made both with 8.3 seconds to play for a three-point lead. Jason Kidd made one after the Nets fouled him intentionally, but the Knicks had one final chance after Williams hit just one of two on his next trip, ending a streak of 52 consecutive made free throws. Smith's rushed 3-point attempt bounced off the backboard and front of the rim.

"I thought we did a good job defensively. Joe Johnson made some tough shots, we let him get to his sweet spot a couple of times, but the effort was there," Knicks center Tyson Chandler said. "You've got to give them credit for hitting big shots."

The Knicks led the division by six games after beating the Nets here on Dec. 19, but the Nets have gone 11-2 under Carlesimo while the Knicks have battled injuries and failed to play at the level they reached early in the season.

Humphries finished with nine points and eight rebounds in 12 first-half minutes, and the Nets led 47-41 at the break.

The Knicks shot under 35 percent in the first half and trailed by nine early in the third quarter before finally finding their legs. Stoudemire and Smith each had two baskets before Anthony's jumper capped a 10-0 run that gave New York a 63-60 lead during a span in which it held Brooklyn without a basket for five minutes. The Knicks led 68-65 after three.

It was the third tight game in the series, the games living up to the extra emphasis that was put on them since the Nets' move from New Jersey into the Knicks' city. Anthony was the dominant player in the series, a thrill for the Brooklyn native and a tough pill to swallow for the Nets, who desperately tried to acquire him two years ago before the Denver Nuggets instead took the Knicks' package.

But he couldn't quite reach his level of play from the first three games, when he averaged 37 points.

"Two and two against them stinks," Smith said.

Notes: Iman Shumpert had two points on 1-of-6 shooting in his second game of the season after returning from a torn knee ligament. The second-year guard, who debuted in the victory over Detroit in London, got a huge ovation when he was announced with the starters. ... Richie Guerin holds the Knicks' record with 29 straight 20-point games. Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing had a 28-game streak. ... The Knicks fell to 18-9 on the holiday.