For the third time in this still young NBA season, the battle of New York will take place, only this time it crosses the East River and heads to the Garden.
The New York Knicks will be the host Wednesday night when they take on the Brooklyn Nets after the teams split a pair of earlier games at the Barclays Center.
The Knicks lost a spirited overtime contest in Brooklyn on Nov. 26, which was the makeup game when Superstorm Sandy canceled the season-opener on Nov. 1. The Knicks came back and bested the Nets last Tuesday thanks to 45 points from Carmelo Anthony.
But the MVP candidate missed the Linsanity return to Madison Square Garden on Monday. Anthony fell awkwardly Thursday night against the Lakers and sat out against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets.
While Jeremy Lin and his Rockets were triumphant Monday, handing the Knicks their first home loss (10-1), Anthony is going to be a game-time decision against the Nets.
"I feel a little bit better than I felt a couple of days ago, yesterday," Anthony said after practice on Tuesday. "I did a lot more than I was able to do the past couple of days, so we'll see what happens with that. We still have today to get some rest and treatment. I might come back tonight and get a little light workout in and tomorrow morning. So, I will probably be a game- time decision at this point."
The Knicks' loss to the Rockets snapped a four-game winning streak. Lin scored 22 points and handed out eight assists in his return back to New York City, but James Harden led the way with 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Chris Copeland, who started in place of Anthony, was amazing, posting 29 points in just over 28 minutes. Tyson Chandler scored eight points and pulled down 18 boards.
December has not been kind to the Nets. Brooklyn is 2-7 since the calendar turned and have lost two in a row, including a heartbreaker on Tuesday night. The Nets blew a 13-point halftime lead to the Utah Jazz and fell 92-90 at home.
"This is a tough loss," said Nets guard Deron Williams, who totaled 14 points and five assists in defeat. "We have to bounce back."
Joe Johnson led the way for the Nets with 21 points, while Brook Lopez chipped in 16. Kris Humphries netted eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Nets shot 41.2 percent from the 3-point line, but were outrebounded by 10. The Jazz outscored the Nets, 26-17 in the third quarter and 22-16 in the final frame.
The Nets are 2-5 in their last seven in the Garden.