Brooklyn-native Carmelo Anthony carried the scoring load for New York with a season-high 45 points, but it was Jason Kidd who put the dagger in his former-team.
Kidd, who missed the first matchup against the Nets two weeks ago, shot 6-of-8 from downtown and buried the deciding triple late in fourth to lift the Knicks to a 100-97 victory over Brooklyn to even the season series.
"That's why we got him here," said Anthony of Kidd's game-winning shot. "We know how much of a big time player he is, how smart a player he is. He came up big for us tonight."
Anthony shot 15-of-24 from the field, including 5-of-7 from three-point range while Kidd totaled 18 points, six assists and six rebounds for New York, which has won six of its last seven games since losing to the Nets on Nov. 26.
Deron Williams tallied 18 points and 10 assists for Brooklyn, which lost its fifth straight game and has won just twice since beating New York. Andray Blatche led the Nets in scoring with a season-high 23 while Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson followed with 17 and 16 points, respectively, in the loss.
"This was a winnable game," Nets head coach Avery Johnson said. "We just couldn't quite close it."
Brooklyn led most of the contest after building a 17-point first quarter lead, but the Knicks chipped away throughout and finally broke through in the final period.
Holding a a five-point lead after three quarters, Williams put the Nets ahead 87-81 less than four minutes into the fourth as he backed down Raymond Felton to score on a short hook shot.
However, Anthony sank a pair of free throws and then drained a long three to pull New York within one. Then, with four minutes remaining, Kidd connected on his fifth three of the game to tie the game up at 91-91.
New York, which ranked third in the league in three-point percentage coming into the contest, knocked down 50 percent (14-of-28) from downtown for the game.
The teams then traded baskets, with Johnson's floater tying the game at 97-97 before Kidd drained the final basket of the game. Kidd was fouled on his make, giving him a chance at a four-point play, but his missed the free throw attempt and Wallace grabbed the rebound.
However, Wallace and Williams each missed open 3-pointers on the Nets' final possession and New York escaped with a come-from-behind win.
The Nets took advantage of defensive mismatches early, especially Blatche, who scored 12 points before getting into foul trouble in the first quarter to help Brooklyn out to a 21-5 lead.
A short surge by the Knicks brought them to within 10, but Williams floated home a running layup to give Brooklyn a 30-16 advantage going into the second quarter.
Nine second quarter points by MarShon Brooks followed by a layup from Wallace extended the Nets' lead to 47-31, but then Anthony caught fire for New York.
He buried his final four shots, including two from long distance to post 22 points in the first half. His driving layup in the closing seconds then capped a 14-point second quarter to pull the Knicks within 53-49 at the halfway point.
After a friendly bounce on a Kidd triple, Felton knocked down a long jumper to give the Knicks their first lead of the game at 54-53 early in the third period, but it didn't last long.
Williams and Johnson ignited a 19-8 Brooklyn run with back-to-back 3-pointers, with Williams scoring nine during the stretch before Johnson hit a step back jumper to put the Nets back ahead by double-digits at 72-62.
However, two consecutive Smith jumpers sandwiched between a three-point play from Anthony and a Rasheed Wallace triple cut the Knicks' deficit to six before heading into the final period down 79-74.
Nets center Brook Lopez sat for the sixth straight game with an injured foot. Brooklyn has gone 2-5 without him in the lineup ... Reggie Evans pulled down a season-high 18 rebounds for the Nets ... New York had 10 turnovers for the game, with Felton accounting for a season-worst seven of them ... New York was outscored in the paint 48-20 for the game.