Defense was key for the Brooklyn Nets down the stretch -- especially in the fourth quarter.
Anthony had averaged 37 points in the previous three games against Brooklyn this season, but the Nets held him to 29 points on 11-for-29 shooting on Monday afternoon.
Gerald Wallace, who played solid defense on Melo all afternoon, did a great job contesting a potential game-tying jumper by Anthony with 11.9 seconds to go, which wouldn’t fall. Once the game was over, “BROOK-LYN!” chants filled Madison Square Garden.
“We knew we had to make plays,” Wallace said. “Our main game plan was to make them take contested shots and keep them off the 3-point line and win the rebounding battle.”
The Knicks shot just 6-for-21 from 3-point range (28.6 percent). The Nets outrebounded them, 52-37.
Lopez is a candidate to be named as an All-Star reserve this Thursday. Midway through the season, he leads the Nets in scoring, blocks and player efficiency rating.
Lopez also demands attention and drew a double-team that made it possible for Joe Johnson to get open for the game-winning jumper with 22.3 seconds remaining.
“I’ve been trying to focus on handling double-teams,” Lopez said. “As long as I did a good strong pass out and get the ball to [Deron Williams], I know we are going to get a good shot.”