Big Apple Brawl: Knicks welcome Nets to MSG

(SportsNetwork.com) - The battle for New York takes center stage Tuesday night when the New York Knicks welcome the Brooklyn Nets to the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks have dropped four straight heading into this Atlantic Division showdown. New York has lost six of its last seven and share the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks fell at home Sunday to the Miami Heat, 86-79.

Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 31 points while the other four starters combined for 20 points on 9-for-29 from the field in yet another New York loss.

"I just went out there, I was trying not to think about it," said Anthony, who missed the previous two games with back pain. "We thought we missed some shots that were right there."

Amar'e Stoudemire had 19 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.

No other Knicks player scored in double figures as the team went 31-for-88 from the field for 35.2 percent. They shot 3-for-24 from long range for a deflating 12.5 percent.

The Knicks finish off this short homestand Thursday night against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Nets have traded wins and losses over their last four and are second in the Atlantic Division, albeit six games behind the mighty Toronto Raptors.

On Sunday, the Nets got pummeled at home, 102-84, by the Chicago Bulls.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 13 points to lead the Nets, who shot under 38 percent from the field coming home off a 2-1 road trip. Jarrett Jack chipped in 12 points off the bench in the loss.

Deron Williams had 10 points, but the starting forward combination of Joe Johnson and Kevin Garnett combined for 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting from the floor.

Brooklyn was outrebounded 50-34.

"I thought we played pretty well defensively, we just struggled to score a lot," said Nets center Brook Lopez, who had 11 points.

Chicago led by five at halftime and never trailed after that. Gasol scored 12 in the third quarter, including six during an 8-0 burst that stretched the lead to 10 points.

Rose's jumper several minutes later made it a 15-point game and the Bulls took a 76-63 advantage into the fourth.

It was never closer than 10 after that and Chicago led by as many as 24.

The Nets start a three-game homestand Wednesday with the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.

The Nets won the first matchup between the New York teams on Nov. 7, 110-99, at the Barclays Center. Brooklyn is 3-2 in its last five trips to Madison Square Garden.