Notes: Nets stuff Melo over final 12 minutes

Defense was key for the Brooklyn Nets down the stretch -- especially in the fourth quarter.

In the final 12 minutes of Monday afternoon’s 88-85 victory, the Nets held New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony to just two points, both coming on a pair of free throws with 40.9 seconds left.

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.

SUPER-SIZED: With Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby out due to injury, the Nets were able to take advantage of the Knicks on the glass.

Brook Lopez (14 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks) and Kris Humphries (11 points, 13 rebounds off the bench) both had double-doubles, combining to snare 24 boards.

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.”