After a brief return home, the New York Knicks get back to work on the road Monday when they take on a new local rival, the Brooklyn Nets, at Barclays Center.
These two teams were supposed to kick off the season Nov. 1 in Brooklyn, but Hurricane Sandy put a halt to those plans.
The Knicks have lost two straight and three of four road games, and got back into the win column with a 121-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 29 points and made 10 of his 18 attempts, while J.R. Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Rasheed Wallace netted 15 points off the bench and Raymond Felton posted 14 and 10 assists for the Knicks, who are 5-0 at home this season and third in the NBA with 103.4 ppg. Anthony is third in the NBA with 25.6 ppg.
"We just had to get back to trusting each other on the defensive end," Anthony said. "The last couple of games, we weren't sticking to our defensive standard, but we got back to it today."
New York will also visit Milwaukee on its quick trek and is 4-3 as the guest. With a win Monday night, the Knicks will join the Miami Heat as the only teams with 10-plus wins in the Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn has won two in a row since a two-game slide and won for the seventh time in nine tries with Sunday's 98-85 triumph versus the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.
Joe Johnson led the Nets with 21 points and Deron Williams chipped in 15 and 12 assists. Brook Lopez added 15 points and eight rebounds for a Nets team that is now 6-1 at home and 2-0 on a three-game residency.
"You can't really compare this team to other years. It's a totally different team," said Brooklyn forward Kris Humphries, who ended with 14 points and 10 rebounds. "I think we played well in the fourth quarter and we just kept getting stops."
After hosting the nearby Knicks, the Nets, who departed New Jersey in the offseason, will hit the road for three contests against Boston, Orlando and Miami.
Both the Knicks and Nets sit atop the Atlantic Division standings. New York took two of three meetings between the teams a season ago and has won nine of the previous 12 matchups in the series.