UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Once their extended preseason finale was over, the Knicks and Nets could look ahead to the one that counts next week in Brooklyn in the season opener.
The Knicks hope their frontcourt is ready by then.
Already without Amar’e Stoudemire, New York lost center Tyson Chandler to a left knee injury less than a minute into the game in a 97-95 overtime victory over the Nets on Wednesday night.
“It’s frustrating, because like I say I felt great before the game,” Chandler said. “I was excited, team’s looking good and we were up for this game to try to set the tempo moving into the first game of the year. And I mean I look at the stat sheet, I played 44 seconds, so it’s just disappointing to happen at all.”
Steve Novak made two 3-pointers in overtime, including the go-ahead shot with 1:26 left, in the final tuneup before the teams meet in their hyped, nationally televised regular-season opener on Nov. 1 at the new Barclays Center.
The Knicks expect to play that night without Stoudemire, who has a cyst behind his left knee and is out a couple of weeks. Chandler left on crutches and said he would have an MRI exam Thursday, but said he didn’t have much concern after his injury, which occurred when he fell to the court after a collision with the Nets’ Gerald Wallace.
“I just feel like I have a sprain or something like that,” said Chandler. “I’m sure I’ll stay off it the next couple of days and then pick up work with my teammates leading into the first game of the season.”
Chandler got up and walked to the locker room, but the Knicks said there was no reason to risk the Defensive Player of the Year’s return in calling his injury a sore left knee.
“I was just hoping that it wasn’t too serious. After talking to him, seeing him at halftime, after the game, doesn’t seem like it’s too serious,” Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said. “Probably a real bad bruise, I don’t know how they’re going to call it. Good thing is now preseason is over with, we got a week before the real thing starts, so hopefully he gets himself back ready.”
Anthony and Raymond Felton each scored 15 points for the Knicks before leaving things to the reserves, who blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter but pulled out the victory to finish 3-3. Rookie Chris Copeland, who has played well in the preseason, led New York with 16 points.
Deron Williams scored 22 points for the Nets, who dropped their final three games and also finished 3-3.
Brooklyn had a chance to force a second overtime, but reserve MarShon Brooks missed a runner in the final seconds.
“Our young guys that were in there at the end helped get the game into overtime, unfortunately we just didn’t have that last one go down for us to go into double-overtime,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said.
The Nets, who have watched their home games against the Knicks feel like road contests for years in New Jersey, are hoping the blue jerseys will turn to Brooklyn black-and-white, with their new arena giving them a real home-court advantage.
They sure didn’t have one here.
The Nets were technically the home team, playing in a Nassau Coliseum that they once called home when they were a power in the ABA. But the court was surrounded by fans in Knicks jerseys, and the Nets were booed during pregame introductions and early in the game.
Part of the anger could have been left over from the press conference earlier Wednesday that the NHL’s New York Islanders will be leaving this arena to begin playing with the Nets in Barclays Center starting in 2015. An announcement during the game about the move was greeted with scattered boos.
The Knicks are also without backup Marcus Camby (strained left calf). Another forward, Rasheed Wallace, still isn’t ready to play as he works himself back into shape following a two-year retirement. Without them, the Knicks could choose to use Anthony as a power forward, especially since Johnson said last week his team struggles to defend teams when they go small at that spot.
The Nets jumped to a 23-16 lead after one quarter behind 12 points from Williams, but the Knicks shot 9 of 14 (64 percent) in the second, outscoring Brooklyn 30-20 to take a 46-43 advantage into the half.
The Knicks were ahead by six after three and pushed the lead into double digits early in the fourth as both teams went mostly with bench players in the final period. The Nets rallied to grab an 86-84 lead on Brooks’ three-point play with 1:01 left before Copeland’s free throws tied it with 47 seconds to go and neither team scored again in regulation.
What’s your level of concern for Chandler? Be heard in the comments below…
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