By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New Jersey Nets beat the New York Knicks 96-89 in an overtime thriller on Monday in the first battle for New York bragging rights between the city rivals played out in the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The victory lifted the Nets (9-4) into a tie with the Knicks (9-4) for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Tied 84-84 after regulation, the Knicks scored the first points of the extra period, but the Nets countered with eight points in a row, the last three from hustling plays by Gerald Wallace to surge to a 92-86 lead and were never threatened.
Center Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points, with Deron Williams and Wallace scoring 16 points each.
Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks' scoring leader who was born in Brooklyn, led New York with 35 points, while center Tyson Chandler had 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting with his hoops coming from tip-ins, follow-ups and slam dunks.
The game had been originally set to kick off the NBA season for the New York teams but was postponed due to the damage in the area caused superstorm Sandy.
While that thrill was gone from this initial clash between the teams, the tension was heightened by the great start enjoyed by both in the early days of the season.
Blue-and-orange clad Knicks fans made themselves heard in the new arena, which is just a 25-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, but their chants were drowned out by the sing-song "Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn" favored by Nets fans embracing their new home following their move from New Jersey.
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)
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