Rapid Reaction: Nets 88, Knicks 85

WHAT IT MEANS: On Monday afternoon, Joe Johnson backed up his proclamation that the Brooklyn Nets are the best team in New York City.

Johnson scored 10 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter -- including the game-winning baseline jumper with 22.3 seconds left -- and the Nets beat the New York Knicks 88-85 at Madison Square Garden to even the season series at 2-2. The two teams will not meet again in the regular season.

Johnson made four of his first five shots in the first quarter, but missed his next eight before burying a pair of huge 3-pointers in the fourth. Prior to his game-winning bucket, the Nets hadn’t scored in more than five minutes.

The Nets (25-16) went 12-for-24 from 3-point range and overcame 19 turnovers to defeat the Knicks (25-14). Brooklyn improved to 11-2 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo and 10-16 against teams with winning records.

MELO: Carmelo Anthony, who averaged 37 points in the previous three meetings, had 29 points on 11-for-29 shooting on Monday. He missed eight of his first 12 shots and had just two points in the fourth quarter. Melo had a chance to put the Knicks back in front in the waning seconds but missed a jumper with Gerald Wallace defending him.

D-WILL: Deron Williams had an up-and-down performance. He dished out 12 assists, but shot just 3-for-10 from the field and finished with 14 points and five rebounds. He hit just one of his six shots during the first half. D-Will had hit 52 consecutive free throws before missing one with 5.7 seconds left. J.R. Smith had a chance to tie the score, but his 3-pointer caromed off the backboard as time expired.

BROOK-LYN: Brook Lopez had a solid game inside against Tyson Chandler, scoring 14 points while adding 11 rebounds and four blocks.

THIRD IS THE BAD WORD: The Nets went 6-for-20 during the third quarter, and gave up a 10-0 run which allowed the Knicks to turn a seven-point deficit into a three-point lead heading into the fourth. Brooklyn turned it over four times during the period.

WELL-PLAYED: The Nets held the Knicks to just 34.9 percent shooting in the first half -- 4-for-17 from 3-point range -- and led 47-41. They led by as many as 10. Anthony needed 15 shots to score 18 points. Kris Humphries provided nine points and eight rebounds off the bench in the first half. The Nets were plagued by 11 turnovers, but they held a 27-16 rebounding edge.

SLOPPY START: In the first quarter, the Nets had seven turnovers, while the Knicks went 3-for-10 from 3-point range. Johnson, however, went 3-for-3 from 3-point range in the first quarter and tallied 11 points before picking up his second foul and being forced to the bench at the 2:35 mark.

UP NEXT: The Nets play at the Minnesota Timberwolves at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.