Rarely, has a game been more anticipated, more debated by area fans. Our Knicks are better than your Nets. Brooklyn will stomp Manhattan. Carmelo Anthony should own Kevin Garnett. Yes, it was a game everyone looked forward to seeing, a game everyone circled on the calendar.

And then the season started.

Still, despite the Knicks burden of a nine-game losing streak and the Nets making more news for demoting an assistant coach than for their play, there was revised curiosity for Thursday’s rivalry renewal at Barclays Center.

Until the third quarter ended.

By then, the Knicks had stomped the Nets into submission, so the final 12 minutes served only to provide the finale to the 113-83 Knicks laugher and to allow Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani to be ejected on technical fouls.

“We played with a sense of urgency from the tipoff. Guys just felt it, offensively, defensively. The energy was there,” said Anthony who led six Knicks in double figures with 19 points in the wire-to-wire win. “The intensity was there for four quarters, not two, not three quarters.”

Said Garnett of the 5-14 Nets woes, which include a six-game home losing streak, “It’s not ideal. Nothing went our way from the giddy up.”

The Knicks (4-13) unleashed a relentless 3-point attack (59 percent, on 16-of-27 accuracy). Iman Shumpert nailed five of the 3-pointers, cramming three of them into the lopsided 34-16 third quarter when the Knicks lead went upwards of 20.

“The ball was moving better just because of our pace. We were pushing the ball better,” said Shumpert, who scored 11 of his 17 points in the third quarter. “Everybody got involved. Everybody touched it. Everybody stayed in rhythm.”

Unlike the Nets.

“We were there for maybe two-and-a-half quarters, and we were out of it after that,” said Brook Lopez who, because someone had to, led the Nets with 24 points.

Anthony this week had proclaimed the Knicks a “laughingstock,” but that title was bestowed on the Nets by the end of the game. The Nets’ alleged defense limited the Knicks to 57 percent shooting from the field.