In the new “East River Rivalry” it is the Nets that draw first blood.
The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks met for the first time in the regular season at the Barclays Center Monday night, in a game that was supposed to be the season opener for both teams but had to be suspended because of Hurricane Sandy.
And it was the Nets who came out on top, defeating the Knicks 96-89 in overtime. The new rivalry lived up to its billing, requiring an extra five minutes to decide a winner.
The win improved the Nets record to 9-4, while the loss dropped the Knicks record to a matching 9-4. The teams now share a piece of the lead atop the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They are tied for second in the entire conference, each one game behind the 10-3 Miami Heat.
Despite getting 35 points from Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks couldn’t outlast the Nets. Brooke Lopez, who dropped 22 points, hit a free throw at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Jerry Stackhouse hit a big three-pointer to give the Nets a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Stackhouse was hot from behind the arc, going an economical 4-for-5 but hitting some clutch shots when the Nets needed them.
In other Nets action last week, the team beat the Portland Trailblazers, 98-85, and the Los Angeles Clippers, 86-76, both at the Barclays Center. The Nets are now 7-1 at home.
They’ll be headed on the road for a bit, however, with tough games against the Celtics and Heat sandwiched around a contest with the Magic, all away games.
The Knicks, meanwhile, head on the road for a game against the Bucks before coming back to the Garden for a two game home stand with matchups against pitiful Wizards and the Suns.