NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks celebrates during the game against the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Then Knicks defeated the Nets 120-116 (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Knicks 120, Nets 116: Knicks Overpower Nets in Shootout

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Knicks 120, Nets 116: Knicks Overpower Nets In Shootout

It wasn’t pretty, but the New York Knicks won their second game in a row, defeating the New Jersey Nets 120-116 in a wild affair Wednesday night. The Nets, who are 28th in the NBA in scoring, put up an astounding 68 points in the first half, but the Knicks came back behind Carmelo Anthony’s second straight 39-point, 10-rebound effort. It was the type of offense the team envisioned when it traded for Anthony and Chauncey Billups, as the Knicks "Big Three" of Anthony, Billups and Amare Stoudemire accounted for 95 of New York’s 120 points.

It was a near-perfect first half for the Nets, who the Knicks made look like a juggernaut. Over the past three games before Wednesday, the Nets had been held to under 88 points in each game. But they were able to run out to a 16-point lead, leading 50-34 at one point as a chorus of boos rained down from the Madison Square Garden crowd. The lead was ten at the half, and that’s when Anthony took over.

After being courted by the Nets all season, only to see him traded across the river to the Knicks, Anthony erupted in the third quarter to the tune of 20 points to pull the Knicks within one going into the final quarter. The fourth quarter is where the Knicks have stuggled the most over this current stretch, and there were some unlikely contributors over the final 12 minutes in this game. Shelden Williams scored six straight points to widen the Knicks’s lead to five with just over six minutes left. Seldom used Anthony Carter gave New York good minutes, dishing out four assists in the fourth quarter.

But when it came down to it, the Knicks needed their stars, and Anthony and Billups came through. Billups tied the game at 114 with three free throws just after the three0minute mark, and Anthony broke the tie with his only field goal of the fourth, putting the Knicks up for good.

The Knicks need wins in the worst way, and although they played a truly terrible defensive game, they’ll take tonight’s meager victory. Next up for the Knicks is the team they are thankful they won’t be matched up in a playoff series with, the 15-59 Cleveland Cavaliers. Three of the Cavs’ 15 victories this season have come at the expense of the Knicks. Hopefully for them and their fans, the Knicks can finally solve the NBA’s worst team. Tonight, they just barely solved the Nets.

Final - 3.30.2011 1 2 3 4 Total
New Jersey Nets 36 32 24 24 116
New York Knicks 30 28 33 29 120

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Deron Williams Will Play Against Knicks

In what may turn out to be his last game with the New Jersey Nets this season, point guard Deron Williams will play against the New York Knicks Wednesday night.  After seeing Williams shoot during warmups at Madison Square Garden before the game, head coach Avery Johnson told the media that his point guard would be in the lineup for the first time since March 18 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Williams has been dealing with a strained right wrist, an injury that has forced him to miss six straight games.  The Nets have dropped five of the six games Williams sat out, including the last two by an average of 18 points.

The injury to Williams has forced Jordan Farmar into a much more prominent role which has clearly taken its toll on the first-year Net.  Over the last four games, Farmar has shot just 37 percent from the floor and was benched by Johnson at the beginning of the second half of Tuesday night's 112-87 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Center Brook Lopez has also missed having Williams around.  While he did post three 20 point games during Williams' absence, Lopez also suffered through two of his worst games of the season, scoring 10 points against the Orlando Magic and just six against the Atlanta Hawks, only the sixth time this year he failed to score in double digits.

While the Knicks are preparing for the playoffs, Wednesday night's game with their rivals across the river is their own version of a one-game playoff.  Since Mikhail Prokhorov took over ownership of the Nets, they have constantly looked for ways to upstage the Knicks and a win in the World's Most Famous Arena over a man that spurned them -- Carmelo Anthony -- would be a nice final tweak.

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