Johnson, Nets top Knicks

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Updated: January 21, 2013

Joe Johnson poured in 25 points, including the
go-ahead jumper with 22.3 seconds remaining, as the Brooklyn Nets bested the
cross-town rival New York Knicks, 88-85, on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Deron Williams donated 14 points and 12 assists, while Brook Lopez added 14
points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who have won two straight and nine of
their last 10 to pull within one game of the Knicks atop the Atlantic
Division.

“That’s Joe Johnson,” Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “He’s a
money player. He’s been a money player his whole career.”

Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 29 points to go with seven assists, but
missed a potential go-ahead jumper late in regulation. J.R. Smith and Amar’e
Stoudemire chipped in 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Knicks, who have
lost four of their last six.

With the game locked at 75-75 early in the fourth, Johnson ripped off a
personal 8-2 surge, knocking down consecutive 3-pointers around a Smith layup
before burying a jumper to make it 83-77 with 5:37 to play.

The Knicks answered with a 7-0 spurt, which Anthony capped with a pair of free
throws to put New York in front, 84-83, with 40.9 seconds remaining.

On Brooklyn’s ensuing touch, Johnson drove right and nailed a pullup jumper to
restore Brooklyn’s one-point edge with 22.3 ticks remaining.

Following a timeout, Anthony caught a pass on the right wing and drove hard to
the basket, but his short jump shot missed everything and Brooklyn corralled
the rebound.

“I don’t make no excuses,” Anthony remarked. “I should’ve made the shot. I
don’t know what to say about that.”

Williams then connected on two free throws, and after Jason Kidd split a pair
at the other end, Williams made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to make it
88-85 with 5.7 seconds remaining.

Smith then drove the length of the court, but his 3-point try at the buzzer
was off the mark and the Nets escaped with the victory.

Neither team led by more than five in a tightly contested first frame that
found the visitors clinging to a 26-24 advantage after 12 minutes.

The Nets shot 40.0 percent from the field in the second to build their lead to
47-41 heading into the break, but the Knicks shot nearly 60 percent from the
floor in the third to take a 68-65 edge into the final frame.

Game Notes

Brooklyn and New York split the season series, 2-2 … Brooklyn improved to
11-2 under Carlesimo … Kris Humphries finished with 11 points and 13
boards for Brooklyn … Williams had made 52 straight free throws before
missing one late in the fourth quarter.