NEW YORK - A media member asked New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd, once the face of the franchise when he played with the New Jersey Nets, on Sunday about the rivalry between the Knicks and the new-look Brooklyn Nets.
Kidd, who wasn't even in attendance last night when the two New York franchises met for the very first time, said, "It's not a rivalry until the other team wins," pointing to the fact that the Knicks had defeated the Nets six of the last seven times prior to Monday night's "Battle of the Boroughs" at the Barclays Center.
Well, Kidd can now consider it a full-fledged rivalry, after the upstart Brooklyn Nets managed to make the big plays in overtime, taking a hard-fought 96-89 decision from the Knicks.
How much of a rivalry? Well, because the Nets (9-4) defeated the Knicks (also 9-4), the Nets are now in first place in the NBA's Atlantic Division.
``This was a great game for the fans," said Nets center Brook Lopez, who had a team-high 22 points and 11 rebounds. "There was a lot of excitement out there. We were able to keep our composure in overtime and that's a good test for us. We stuck together down the stretch."
Lopez was asked about the sellout crowd of 17,732 and how the fans reacted to the Nets.
"Because of the proximity, there was a lot of buildup before the game and the fans definitely did their part," Lopez said. "I'm beginning to realize how fortunate I am to play with these guys. We keep getting better every game."
The Nets won their sixth straight home game, their longest home winning streak since 2003, when Kidd was running the show for the franchise.
Gerald Wallace, who had his worst professional game on Sunday, scoring two points and grabbing one rebound in the win over Portland, rebounded in a huge way to help key the Nets' victory.
Wallace scored 16 points, including three clutch points in overtime, and played solid defense on Carmelo Anthony, keeping Anthony without a field goal for the final seven minutes of regulation and overtime.
"You can see how we don't win without Gerald Wallace," Nets head coach Avery Johnson said. "He showed his versatility tonight. He played great defense on Anthony and also had some moments at the four (power forward). He did a great job."
The Nets also received 16 points and 14 assists from Deron Williams.
"I think Deron is a big-stage player and this was a big stage," Johnson said. "He pretty much dominated the game. I'm just glad we rewarded our fans with a win, because every time the Knick fans started chanting, our fans got louder."
Brooklyn overcame a scoring clinic from Anthony, who had 35 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Tyson Chandler added a career-high 28 points on 12-of-13 from the floor for the Knicks.
After Chandler got a rebound basket to give the Knicks an 86-84 lead in overtime, the Nets scored the next eight points to put the game away.
Lopez had a driving layup that tied the game at 86-86, then Jerry Stackhouse hit a huge corner 3-pointer that gave the Nets the lead for good at 89-86. Stackhouse hit four 3-pointers on the night.
"What can you say about Jerry Stackhouse?" Johnson asked. "Every three he hit tonight was at the right time. He gave us the right energy with his shooting."
Wallace then scored the next three points on a free throw and a layup, giving Brooklyn a cushion at 92-86.
Both teams missed shots in the closing seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime. Anthony, closely guarded by Wallace, threw up a tough shot from the foul line that clanked off the rim with 3.6 seconds left. Williams missed a desperation halfcourt heave at the buzzer, as the game was tied at 84-84.
The Knicks had one stretch where they missed 13 straight shots from the floor, before Chandler had a tip-in basket to tie the game once again at 70-70 with 7:11 left.
"I thought we were getting good looks at the basket, but the shots didn't go in," Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said. "Those were our shots. Both teams wanted this game. We had good looks, but the shots didn't go down. I'll take our chances in games like this. Give them credit. Their defense hung tough in the fourth quarter and overtime."
Johnson had nothing but praise for Anthony.
"It's scary how good he is sometimes," Johnson said. "Seeing him in person, he's definitely a handful. We just tried to crowd Carmelo and make him work for it."
Anthony scored on a rebound basket, giving the Knicks a 72-70 lead, but the Nets then scored six straight, three on a deep 3-pointer from Williams and then three more on a conventional three-point play from Lopez off a fine pass from Williams, pushing the lead to 76-72 with 6:01 left.
The Knicks then scored four straight to tie the game, but the Nets answered on a clutch 3-pointer from Stackhouse with the shot clock expiring that gave Brooklyn a 79-76 lead with 4:24 left. Williams found Lopez for an uncontested slam that pushed the lead to 81-76 with 3:51 remaining, forcing Knicks coach Woodson to call a time out.
Rasheed Wallace, who at 38 is only the fourth oldest player on the Knicks, hit a rainbow 3-pointer that gave the Knicks a 64-59 lead with 3:20 left in the third quarter, then collected a huge defensive rebound the next trip down the floor. Kurt Thomas (40), Jason Kidd (39) and Marcus Camby (38, older by six months) are all older than Wallace, who sat out the last two seasons in an early retirement.
Raymond Felton canned two free throws to give the Knicks a 66-59 lead with 3:10 left in the third, the Knicks' biggest lead of the game, capping a 7-0 run.
But the Nets closed out the third quarter on a 9-1 run, with Keith Bogans hitting a rebound basket with 2.5 seconds left, allowing the Nets to regain the lead at 68-67 to begin the fourth quarter.
Anthony had 26 to lead the Knicks after three periods while Chandler had 17.
Gerald Wallace had 13 points after three to pace the Nets, while Williams had 11 points and 12 assists.
After a very quiet first quarter, Anthony exploded in the second quarter, scoring 11 points, helping the Knicks gain a 47-45 halftime lead.
There were eight lead changes in the second quarter alone, the last coming when the Knicks scored the final four points before the break on a power move from Chandler and then a driving shot from Anthony with just 26 seconds left.
The Nets held a 43-39 lead on a 3-pointer from Joe Johnson, but the Knicks answered right back by scoring the final six points of the quarter, four coming from Anthony.
Anthony's luck was evident when he fired up a 3-pointer that bounced off the top of the backboard, then slid right through the nets with the shot clock expiring. The shot gave the Knicks a brief 39-38 lead with 3:42 left before halftime.
The first quarter was a complete see-saw competitive affair, with the teams trading the lead five times, and the game was tied three times.
The Nets then took a 26-19 lead in the closing minute of the first quarter, courtesy of a 7-0 run, capped by a long 3-pointer from Bogans from the left corner with just 38 seconds left.
The Knicks then scored twice before the final buzzer, getting a layup from J.R. Smith and a pretty scoop off the glass in the lane by Anthony with just three seconds left, as the Knicks sliced the Brooklyn lead to 26-23 after the first period.
NOTES: Kidd was a late scratch due to a bad back and did not make the journey to Brooklyn with his team. Kidd missed the first chance he had to play for his new team against the club with which he spent eight seasons (2001 through 2008), leading the New Jersey Nets franchise to consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. "Jason brings a lot to the table," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "It's a big loss to our team that we have to overcome." ... Monday night's matchup, the first ever between the two New York NBA franchises, was originally scheduled for the season opener Nov. 1, but the game was postponed due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. ... The game was billed as "The Battle of the Boroughs," meaning the Knicks of Manhattan and the Nets of Brooklyn. ... It was the first of four meetings between the New York teams this season. ... The sellout crowd at Barclays Center was mixed with fans of both teams chanting loudly. In the past, Knicks-Nets games in New Jersey were predominately attended by Knicks fans. ... Anthony (10.4) and Lopez (7.9) entered the game ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in scoring in the NBA in the first quarter this season.