The winning shot had left his hands only seconds before, but it wasn't until the final buzzer sounded that Jason Kidd granted his emotions a similar release. Lunging forward, fist pumping, Kidd stomped his way across Brooklyn's new basketball court, having just stomped all over his former team's competitive heart.
An ice-cold three-pointer with 24.1 seconds left gave the Knicks a thrilling 100-97 victory over the Nets on Tuesday night and gave Kidd a full measure of redemption in this Barclays Center rematch. Unable to suit up against the Nets in November because of injury, Kidd dragged his 39-year-old body onto the court this time around, taking the final spotlight away from transcendent teammate Carmelo Anthony.
If it was Anthony's season-high 45 points that awoke the Knicks from their opening-game slumber, it was Kidd and his six three-pointers, none more important than the last one, that kept them alone atop the division standings with a 16-5 record. The Nets (11-9) have yet to recapture the magic that saw them defeat the Knicks in overtime in the initial entry of this redesigned rivalry, but even in defeat, they continued to underscore the emerging reality of a bona fide, true rivalry between New York City rivals.
"If you're a spectator watching this game in the stands or on TV, you couldn't ask for a much better game," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "It was just back and forth. It was like a carbon copy of the first game here, but we made the plays down the stretch and didn't let the game get away from us this time."
In November, when the relocated Nets finally hosted the Manhattan-dwelling Knicks after having their game postponed by superstorm Sandy, Anthony held the win in his hands. But a clanging jumper as regulation expired set up an overtime heartbreak for the Knicks, when an exhausted Anthony didn't have an ageless Kidd as an option. But Tuesday brought us a different script. As Anthony drained shot after shot, swishing from outside and driving down the lane, the Nets knew there was no way they would let him add one more basket to his season-high total. They blanketed him on the final possession, daring anyone else to take his place.
Kidd's three-pointer adds another chapter to Knicks-Nets budding rivalry
Bergen Record | Dec 12