The NBA: The Big Apple Teams Are Killing the Competition

Maybe these New York teams are for real after all.

The Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks each faced a separate foe earlier todaym but both came out with the same result – victory. The Nets snapped Boston’s 3-game win streak and continued their own winning run thanks to Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson combining for 67 points.

Brook Lopez has made it easy for Nets fans to forget
that they could've had Dwight Howard.
(image by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) 
Johnson, in particular, was singled out by Brooklyn coach Avery Johnson as one of the big reasons the Nets came out on top. Despite having an anemic shooting night, the former Atlanta Hawk buried key jumpers late in the fourth to beat their division rivals.

''When you're struggling like that, a lot of times we remember what happens in the fourth quarter. (Like) a baseball player. He goes 0 for 3, but he gets up in the ninth inning and hits a home run or a double to bring somebody in. That's what you remember and it's the same thing tonight with Joe. He struggled a little bit but I thought he did a good job to get quality shots,'' remarked Avery Johnson after the game.

A million miles away in Texas, Brooklyn’s brothers from Manhattan, the Knicks, had to rally in the final frame to turn what might have been their first loss of the season into their sixth straight win.

For NYK mentor Mike Woodson, this was a validation of his team’s quality.

"It shows me that this team is for real," he said. "We beat a great team tonight, a well-coached team. It's the first time I've ever won in San Antonio, so I feel pretty good about that. It's tough to win here."

The Knickerbockers were trailing by a dozen points with about 7 minutes to go, but they made a helluva windup to snap the Spurs’ own winning run. JR Smith hit a transition trey that sparked New York’s amazing 27-11 game-ending charge.

“I shot it with confidence. It went through and really got us going," said Smith of his big shot.

Both NYC teams are rolling right now. The Nets and Knicks have a combined 11-2 record.  Brooklyn is tied for second in the conference with Milwaukee, while the Knicks remain as the only undefeated team in the league.

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Brooklyn 102, Boston 97
Deron Williams posted 24 points and eight assists as the Brooklyn Nets took a 102-97 win over the Boston Celtics. Brook Lopez also had 24 points and grabbed six rebounds while Joe Johnson gave 19 points in the win for the Nets, who have won four straight. Paul Pierce gave 22 points and seven rebounds while Leandro Barbosa added 17 points for the Celtics, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Deron Williams pops up from range as the
Nets buried the Celtics.
(image by Kathy Kmonicek/AP)

New York 104, San Antonio 100
With their first loss staring them in the face, the Knicks did what they have done all season. They made plays, particularly veteran guard Jason Kidd. Kidd drained three fourth-quarter treys and New York used a late offensive blitz to shock San Antonio, 104-100. The onslaught included 27 points, including four three-pointers, in the final seven-plus minutes, statistics made even more impressive considering Carmelo Anthony's off shooting night. The Knicks' top offensive player managed just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Jason Kidd played big in the fourth period as
the Knicks remained unbeaten in 6 games.
(image by Darren Abate/AP)

Miami 98, Denver 93
Minus Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat managed to snap a 10-game losing skid in Denver. LeBron James registered a 27-point, 12-assist double-double, Shane Battier hit six 3-pointers and the Heat posted a 98-93 win over the Nuggets. Chris Bosh had 14 points and Mike Miller added 12 for Miami, which improved to 3-2 on its six-game road trip. Wade sat out the club's first win in Denver since Jan. 29, 2002 with a sprained left foot. Andre Miller came off the bench to lead six Denver players in double figures with 19 points, 17 coming in the second half. JaVale McGee scored 18 points and Kenneth Faried posted his fifth consecutive double-double with 16 points and 20 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari supplied 13 points for the Nuggets, who suffered their second straight loss on the heels of a four-game winning streak.

LeBron James drives against Danilo Gallinari as the Heat
win on the road sans Dwyane Wade.
(image by David Zalubowski/AP)

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