NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points in his return to the lineup, and the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-86 on Wednesday night in the third meeting this season between the city rivals.
After two tight games in Brooklyn, the Knicks turned the first one at Madison Square Garden into a rout by dominating the second half. Anthony, who missed two games with a sprained left ankle, moved fine and shot well, though his scoring average against the Nets this season actually dropped to 37 points per game.
J.R. Smith added 19 points and Tyson Chandler had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who bounced back from their first home loss Monday against Jeremy Lin and Houston, improving to 11-1 at MSG.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Nets, who have lost three straight and eight of 10. What once was a deadlock for the Atlantic Division lead after the first meeting is now a six-game advantage for the Knicks.
Deron Williams and Brook Lopez each had 16 points for Brooklyn.
The Nets won 96-89 in overtime on Nov. 26, and the Knicks pulled out a 100-97 victory on Dec. 11.