NEW YORK -- Mike Woodson has enjoyed some solid victories in his brief stint as the head coach of the New York Knicks, but none quite as emotional and as exciting as Tuesday night's win in the Battle of the Boroughs.
The Knicks team came from 17 points down to defeat their cross-river rival, the Brooklyn Nets, 100-97 at the Barclays Center.
"What can I say about Jason Kidd?" Woodson said, after the 39-year-old Kidd, a former All-Star with the Nets while they were in New Jersey, calmly canned a 3-pointer with 24.1 seconds left, giving his team the victory.
"The ball just happened to roll out to him, and Kidd made the shot," Woodson said. "He's just a great player who makes great plays. Watching the game, if I were a spectator, I couldn't ask for a better game. It was incredible. We had to fight and battle back. We made the plays down the stretch."
Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 45 points, leading New York (16-5) to its seventh win in eight games. Anthony scored 35 in the first game between the two New York squads, won by Brooklyn 96-89 in overtime on Nov. 26.
"He's playing like an MVP," Woodson said of Anthony. "He trusts his teammates to get him shots, and then he makes the shots. I think he just wanted this one and did everything he could to win the game."
However, it was Kidd who made the game-winning play.
With the score 97-97, Kidd calmly nailed a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining on the shot clock. He finished with 18 points, all from 3-point range.
"When they double-teamed Carmelo, we all know that will give us open looks, and Raymond (Felton) made a good pass to me," Kidd said. "I talked to Raymond and told him I'd be open.
"Guys will step up to make a shot, but it was all on our defense in the fourth quarter that helped us win the game."
Kidd, who led the Nets to Eastern Conference titles in 2002 and 2003, was fouled on the play by Jerry Stackhouse. He missed the free throw, giving the Nets one last chance to tie the game.
The Nets had two 3-point shots that could have tied the game, but Gerald Wallace and Deron Williams misfired before the clock expired. The margin of victory represented the Knicks' largest lead of the game.
"These guys want to win so much," Woodson said. "They never gave up when they were down early. We changed the defensive tempo a little in the second quarter and just kept coming."
The Nets (11-9) lost for the fifth consecutive time after winning five in a row.
Brooklyn coach Avery Johnson was at a loss for answers after the tough loss.
"In the final minute, we were in a situation where we wanted to stay matched up with their shooters," Johnson said. "We got into a scramble situation and got sucked in. Kidd was able to get open and make that 3. We got two great looks at the end."
Johnson was asked about blowing yet another big lead at home.
"The main thing is that we didn't do a good job guarding the 3-point line, and that killed us," Johnson said. "Every time we had control of the game, they came back and made a 3. It's uncharacteristic of us."
The Knicks connected on half of their long-range attempts (14 of 28).
"We watched it at halftime and talked about it at halftime, and unfortunately, we kept making the same mistakes," Johnson said. "It was a valiant effort. It was a winnable game, and we couldn't quite close the door."
Anthony connected on 15 of 24 from the floor, five of seven from 3-point range and 10 of 11 from the line.
"He made some tough shots, but that's what great players do," Johnson said. "He's definitely having an MVP-type season. Even when we tried to get over to double-team him, he was shooting the ball quickly before our coverage got there."
Besides Anthony and Kidd, the Knicks received 16 points from J.R. Smith off the bench.
Andray Blatche paced the Nets with 23 points, and Williams added 18 points and 10 assists. Wallace scored 17, and Joe Johnson had 16. Reggie Evans grabbed 18 rebounds for Brooklyn.
"It was a tough game for us," Williams said. "We went up big again in the first half, and then we let them get some life at the end of the second quarter. It was back and forth throughout the fourth quarter. They played a heck of a game, especially defensively against us in the fourth quarter, and they made the big play when they needed to."
Woodson said, "Right now, we're playing well. It's still early, but we still want to stay at the top of our division. Carmelo wants to win so much, and he's done everything asked of him. You can't ask for more than that."
NOTES: Although he practiced fully Monday, Nets center Brook Lopez was out of action for the sixth straight game with a sprained right foot that was originally supposed to keep him out for two games. There is still no timetable for his return. ... Before the game, a piece of the old foul pole from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn was erected outside of the Barclays Center. Jerry Stackhouse represented the Nets in the ceremony, along with Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Sharon Robinson, the daughter of former Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. Stackhouse wears No. 42 in honor of his idol, Robinson. The flagpole was in a local VFW since Ebbets Field was torn down in 1960, but Ratner purchased the foul pole in 2007 when he planned on moving the franchise to Brooklyn. ... The Knicks hold an 86-83 lead in the all-time series since the Nets joined the NBA in 1976. ... While he missed the first meeting because he was filming a movie in New Orleans, huge Knicks fan and Brooklyn native Spike Lee was in attendance, wearing his Knicks colors. ... New York forward Rasheed Wallace was believed to be questionable before the game with a sore left foot, but the 38-year-old veteran was able to play. He scored eight points in 14 minutes. ... Knicks center Marcus Camby, six months older than Wallace, was not able to play due to a left foot injury.