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Battle of New York Part III

December 19, 2012 18:22:45 UK

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets meet at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday after splitting two at the Barclays Center earlier in the season.

The Knicks are five games ahead of the Nets in the Atlantic Division and also currently have the best record in the Eastern Conference despite losing at home to the Houston Rockets on Monday in the return of Jeremy Lin to the scene of last year’s Linsanity.

After an excellent start to the season, the Nets have lost seven of their past nine outings including the last two against the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz.

The Nets are 2.95 to bounce back to winning ways, while their rivals, the Knicks, are 1.42 to pick up the victory

Tuesday evening, the Jazz rallied for a 92-90 victory behind the 19 points of Mo Williams and both Marvin Williams and Al Jefferson recorded double-doubles.

At the other end of the Atlantic Division the Toronto Raptors picked up their third consecutive victory with a 113-99 win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

Jose Calderon led the way for the visitors with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting and Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza, John Lucas and Alan Anderson all came off the bench to score in double figures.

Toronto are back home at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday evening to host the Detroit Pistons before concluding the brief two-game home stand on Friday with the visit of the Orlando Magic.

In Atlanta the Hawks welcome in the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Philips Arena.

The Thunder have won 11 in a row and at 20-4 are clearly the best team in the NBA at this juncture in the campaign.

Atlanta may well be the most surprising side in the Eastern Conference this season after general manager Danny Ferry gutted the roster to purge poor contracts over the summer.

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