The way it started, Nets' fill-in center Andray Blatche seemed on his way to a roasting of Knicks reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler. And when the night was done, the numbers said Blatche got the better of Chandler last night at Barclays Center. But numbers can lie. Blatche, who outscored Chandler, 23-5, admitted Chandler made the game's biggest play. You can safely go with Jason Kidd's dagger 3-point shot as the biggest moment in the Knicks' 100-97 victory, but that shot was made possible by a wonderful, crafty move by Chandler, who batted an offensive rebound into the backcourt, setting up the game-winning shot. "That hurts," said Blatche — again filling in for the injured Brook Lopez — of the Nets' loss, cemented when Kidd's 3-pointer finalized a comeback from a 17-point deficit. "It was a real tough battle. We had the game won. Tyson Chandler made a good play by tapping the ball out, gave them a second chance." And gave the Knicks the win and the Nets a fifth straight loss, essentially. J.R. Smith launched from the right side and missed but Chandler, who was negated early by foul trouble, slipped inside Brooklyn's box-out attempts and swatted the ball back where it was retrieved in the Nets end by 45-point scorer Carmelo Anthony at :41.8. At :24.1, Kidd struck. And so that was what Blatche was most upset about — not an offensive goaltending call against him with 3:02 left that would have put the Nets up two. Joe Johnson missed a floater and Blatche went for the follow. Replays clearly seemed to uphold the refs' decision, but it was a momentum killer. "I thought it was a clean put-back but a lot of my teammates said, 'No, it was still over the rim,' " Blatche said. "But the biggest play was Tyson Chandler hitting the ball out for the second chance." The Nets threatened to blow the Knicks out of the joint and back across the Manhattan Bridge in the first quarter with Blatche leading the way (12 points, 6-of-7 shooting in 7:41).
Blatche tips cap to Chandler
New York Post | Dec 12