Anthony returns as Knicks beat Nets
BY Associated Press
Thursday, December 20, 2012
12/20/12 at 5:18 AM
NEW YORK (AP) - Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks know they can't entirely dismiss the rivalry talk, not with the Nets just a few miles away.
On the court and in the standings, the distance keeps growing.
Anthony scored 31 points in his return to the lineup, and New York beat Brooklyn 100-86 on Wednesday night in the third meeting this season between the city rivals.
After two tight games in Brooklyn, the Knicks turned the first one at Madison Square Garden into a rout by dominating the second half. Anthony, who missed two games with a sprained left ankle, moved fine and shot well, though his scoring average against the Nets this season actually dropped to 37 points per game.
"At the end of the day, these are statement games, these are big games, divisional games," Anthony said. "They're right across the bridge, so these games definitely mean a lot."
J.R. Smith added 19 points and Tyson Chandler had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who bounced back from their first home loss Monday against Jeremy Lin and Houston, improving to 11-1 at MSG.
Chandler scored 12 on 6-of-8 shooting in the second half.
"I just wanted to close the game. I wanted to make a statement," Chandler said. "Tonight was a big game for us, a game in our division, an opportunity to gain a full game as far as the lead goes, and we have to make statements like that."