x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

NBA: Brooklyn Nets claim bragging rights in first New York derby

The Nets edged an overtime thriller against the New York Knicks to win 96-89 in the superstorm-delayed opening encounter between the two sides.

Brooklyn Nets' Reggie Evans celebrates after blocking a shot by New York Knicks' Tyson Chandler.
Brooklyn Nets' Reggie Evans celebrates after blocking a shot by New York Knicks' Tyson Chandler.

The Brooklyn Nets beat the New York Knicks 96-89 in an overtime thriller on Monday in the first battle for New York bragging rights between the city rivals.

The victory lifted the Nets (9-4) into a tie with the Knicks (9-4) for first place in the Atlantic Division.

"Every time some sort of Knick contingent started to cheer, our fans got louder and this is what we have been dreaming about since I have been here," said Avery Johnson, the Nets coach.

"It is a nice feeling and I am glad we rewarded our fans with a victory. They deserved it."

Tied 84-84 after regulation, the Knicks scored the first points of the extra period, but the Nets countered with eight points in a row, the last three from hustling plays by Gerald Wallace to surge to a 92-86 lead and were never threatened.

Center Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points, with Deron Williams and Wallace scoring 16 points each.

Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks' scoring leader who was born in Brooklyn, led New York with 35 points, while centre Tyson Chandler had 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting with his hoops coming from tip-ins, follow-ups and slam dunks.

The game had been originally set to kick off the NBA season for the New York teams but was postponed due to the damage in the area caused superstorm Sandy.

While that thrill was gone from this initial clash between the teams, the tension was heightened by the great start enjoyed by both in the early days of the season.

Blue-and-orange clad Knicks fans made themselves heard in the new arena, which is just a 25-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, but their chants were drowned out by the singsong "Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn" favoured by Nets fans embracing their new home following their move from New Jersey.

"I thought it was a big game in general for us," said Williams afterwards. "It's hard to deny the atmosphere. It definitely was an exciting game for us.

"It was a total 180 (degrees) from last year when it was mostly Knicks fans and all the chants and cheers were for them," added Williams about their games against New York when they were in New Jersey.

"It was great to feel that we have a home court advantage finally."

The Milwaukee Bucks came from behind to record a thrilling one-point win over NBA Central Division rivals the Chicago Bulls.

The Bucks, who stay top of the standings as a result of their win, were 10 points behind by halfway but Ersan Ilyasova led a fightback as he scored all 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Richard Hamilton collected 30 points for the Bulls but had a chance to win it on the buzzer and missed.

Oklahoma City Thunder ran riot against the Charlotte Bobcats, who eventually went down 114-69.

The lead was an astonishing 64-24 after two quarters and 79-25 by the time the Thunder's starting side was pulled to the bench with the job done.

Kevin Durant closed with 18 points, Thabo Sefolosha added 14 and Russell Westbrook claimed a double-double as they secured victory.

The Memphis Grizzlies ensured they stay at the South-west Division summit with an enviable 10-2 record thanks to an 84-78 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each claimed 19 points, while the Cavaliers' Anderson Varejao augmented 15 points with 22 rebounds.

The Utah Jazz remain undefeated after six home games following a 105-103 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Al Jefferson's 28 points headlined a top-scoring affair for Utah, with Kenneth Faried's 21 points the most on the Denver side.

Another free-flowing contest saw the Detroit Pistons beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-101 for only their fourth win of the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge impressed with 32 points but did not find sufficient backup and ended up defeated by a Detroit side who were led by Brandon Knight's 26 points.

Twenty-six points separated the sides as the San Antonio Spurs saw off the winless Washington Wizards 118-92.

The Wizards now have a woeful record of 0-12 after seven players got into double figures for the victorious Spurs - Boris Diaw's 16-point haul the best of the bunch.

The Los Angeles Clippers slipped to a 105-98 defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Hornets despite the best efforts of Caron Butler, who weighed in with 33 points.

Greivis Vasquez was the winning side's top performer with 25 points and 10 assists.

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