By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Nets’ rough December continued with a dispiriting 100-86 loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. The Nets were dominated late in the game for the second straight night, as the Knicks outscored them 48-38 in the second half.
The Nets’ record falls to 2-8 in December after starting the season at 11-4, and will have three days off before an Atlantic Division battle on Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 31 points on 12-for-22 shooting, and 12 rebounds. J.R. Smith called him an “MVP” in a postgame interview.
The first half was evenly matched, with the Knicks taking a 52-48 lead into the half. For once, it was the Nets came out strong in the third quarter, led by Deron Williams.
Williams had nine points and made all four of his shots in the first firve minutes of the third quarter to give the Nets a 61-57 edge.
The game turned in an instant as Knicks center Tyson Chandler got an alley-oop dunk that electrified The Garden, followed by a Carmelo Anthony three-pointer, and another Chandler alley-oop dunk to make it 64-61 Knicks.
Chandler (10 points) and Anthony (7 points) paced the Knicks in the third, and they opened up a 75-67 lead entering the fourth.
J.R. Smith went on a tear for the Knicks in the fourth, scoring 11 points, a big part of his 19-point night.
Another star off the Knicks bench was rookie Chris Copeland, who had eight points in 23 minutes, with a lot of those in the second half.
The biggest match-up to watch was at the center position as the Knicks’ Tyson Chandler going against the Nets’ Brook Lopez, who was out for the last game against the Knicks on December 11th with an ankle injury.
They each had 16 points, and Chandler had 12 rebounds to Lopez’s 10, but Chandler took the game over in the second half and dominated on defense.
As valuable as Carmelo has been to the Knicks, Chandler is showing the form he did two years ago for Dallas when they won the championship.