Brooklyn Nets at New York Knicks (+2, 193)
The resurgent Brooklyn Nets are back on the right side of the playoff bubble, and they'll try to stay there when they travel across the city to face the rival New York Knicks on Monday. The Nets have won six of their last seven to climb into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are one of the teams chasing them, but they've lost three straight to fall two games off the pace.
The Nets are playing stateside for the first time since a 127-110 win over Atlanta in London on Thursday in which they got 29 points from Joe Johnson, who has averaged 24.4 points over the past five games. "Joe has been off the charts," Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd told reporters. "Not just the last few games, but the whole season." The Nets won the first inter-borough matchup of the season, 113-83 on Dec. 5 in Brooklyn.
TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, YES (Brooklyn), MSG (New York)
LINE: The line opened with the Knicks as 2-point home dogs. The total opened at 193.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Brooklyn (-6) - New York (-6.1) + home court (-3) = New York -3.1
ABOUT THE NETS (16-22, 18-20 ATS): Brooklyn has been winning without point guard Deron Williams (13.6 points, 6.9 assists), who has missed the past five games with a sprained ankle and will be a game-time decision. Shaun Livingston has played well in Williams' absence, averaging 11.6 points and 5.8 rebounds over the past five contests, but the Nets are hurting for depth in the backcourt. Brooklyn has lacked offensive punch since losing leading scorer Brook Lopez to a broken foot, but it has stayed afloat by playing better at the defensive end, holding six of its last seven opponents under 100 points.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (15-25, 16-24 ATS): New York has been hampered by injuries all season and will be shorthanded for Monday's matinee with forwards Metta World Peace (knee), Amar'e Stoudemire (ankle) and Kenyon Martin (ankle) all out and guard Pablo Prigioni (toe) unlikely to play. The latest round of injuries prompted coach Mike Woodson to indicate rarely-used reserve centers Cole Aldrich and Jeremy Tyler "will have to play some now." It also is likely to mean the offense will run through leading scorer Carmelo Anthony (26.1 points, 9 rebounds) even more than usual.
* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings in New York.
* Under is 13-6 in the last 19 meetings.
* Nets are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Knicks are 0-4 ATS in the last four games overall.
1. The Knicks are 18-9 all-time on Martin Luther King Day but have lost on the holiday the past three seasons.
2. After being held out as a coach's decision twice in a span of four games, Knicks SG J.R. Smith has averaged 18 points over the past two contests.
3. The Nets, who host Orlando on Tuesday, are 5-2 in the first game of back-to-backs.