This game lived up to the hype and more. The Brooklyn Nets defeated the New York Knicks 96-89 in the first overtime game in the history of the Brooklyn Nets. This was a great game for Nets fans all over Brooklyn and New York City and was a huge statement win. Although this only counts for one game in the standings, it makes a huge dent in the Knicks’ monopoly of New York City.
Carmelo Anthony selfishly led the way for Manhattan with 35 points and 13 rebounds. Tyson Chandler had a career game with 28 points and 10 rebounds. He was fantastic. Brook Lopez was the leading scorer for the Nets with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Deron Williams had 16 points and tied the entire Knicks team with 14 assists. Jerry Stackhouse outscored the entire Knicks bench with 14 points.
This game was very close throughout and no team took a double-digit lead. The Knicks took a slim 2-point lead after 2 quarters, but the Nets came back in the third to take a one-point lead heading into the fourth. The fourth quarter was a game of short runs with each team taking small 5-point leads. With 24 seconds left and the Nets down by 1, Brook Lopez went to the foul line, but was only able to make 1-2. The Knicks got the ball back and Carmelo stupidly took a bad shot with 5 seconds left. The Nets got the ball back, but Deron Williams was unable to hit a very long 3-pointer on the run at the buzzer. In overtime, the Nets continued their good ball movement, finding Lopez in the paint and Stackhouse in the corner for 3’s. Their defense in overtime was superb and they held New York to only 5 points. In the second half and overtime, Manhattan only scored 42 points.
The Nets defense has improved so much since they returned home from the road trip and they are looking like one of the best teams in the NBA. At 9-4, the Nets are now tied with the Knicks for first place in the Atlantic Division and they are 1 game behind Miami for first place in the eastern conference. They also improved to 7-1 at home, an excellent record.
This game proved that unselfish play always beats isolations by star players. The Nets had great ball movement all night which was able to lead Brook Lopez to easy baskets. Although they didn’t shoot very well in this game, they had plenty of open looks and should have won this game by more.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Gerald Wallace: B+
Gerald Wallace was very good on defense today. Despite Carmelo Anthony scoring 35 points, most of them were very selfish points and Wallace played him well and forced a few turnovers. He also had a season high 16 points and made two 3’s. He still needs to work on his foul shooting. He was only 2-4 tonight.
Brook Lopez: A-
Tyson Chandler played better than him, but Lopez still played very well with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Brook has become a force offensively and other centers fear him. Tyson Chandler had an amazing game, shooting 12/13. Still, Lopez played very well.
Deron Williams: A
Deron shot poorly again tonight. But that was just about the only thing he did wrong. His passing was excellent tonight, making many highlight reel passes and dishing out a season high 14 assists. He also held Raymond Felton to only 3/19 from the field and he had 3 steals. Deron led this team in the fourth quarter and overtime and was a big part of this win.
Joe Johnson: F
Where has Joe Johnson disappeared to? He did not score in the fourth quarter or overtime and only had 8 points in this game. In previous games, Johnson had taken big shots in the fourth quarter, but today he barely even touched the ball despite playing 44 minutes. The Nets are going to need JJ to show up this year and they won’t be able to escape every time if they don’t have him performing.
Reggie Evans: A+
Reg-gie! Reg-gie! Reg-gie! Reggie again had 14 rebounds in 18 minutes. He played great defense and played in crunch time. He even managed to score 4 points. Reggie is easily the biggest fan favorite for the Nets and is so valuable to their team.
Jerry Stackhouse: A+++++
GET OUT OF STACK’S HOUSE!!!! UNCLE JERRY IS HERE TO SAVE THE DAY. Stackhouse has led the Nets in +/- this year and again led them in the category today with a +13. He made so many huge 3’s in this game and played in the fourth quarter and overtime! He was 4-5 from deep and 2-2 from the line. He also blocked Carmelo in the last minute. I never imagined anything like this from Stackhouse. GET OUT OF STACK’S HOUSE.
After tonight, the Nets will head up to Boston for another big time matchup with the Celtics. Hopefully they will get up for that game after being emotionally drained from the game tonight. We will have full coverage of that game at FRWD.