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NBA game of the week: Brooklyn at New York on Monday

NBA game of the week: Brooklyn at New York on Monday
Brooklyn Nets teammates Brook Lopez, left, and Tornike Shengelia, right, defend against Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire during a 113-83 New York win on Dec. 5. The two teams renew their cross-town rivalry Monday. (Kathy Willens / Associated Press)

BROOKLYN AT NEW YORK: Monday, 11:30 a.m. PST. TV: ESPN.

The Nets and Knicks must have tired of seeing themselves on "Late Show" top-10 lists. They're starting to play better basketball after dreadful starts that provided daily fodder for comedy writers. Brooklyn has won six of its last seven games and actually would make the playoffs if they started Sunday (though that says more about the awful Eastern Conference than the mediocre Nets). New York has won six of its last 10, including victories over Miami and San Antonio, while shrugging off the quirks of Shoelace Bandit J.R. Smith. The Knicks also hold a 30-point triumph over the Nets last month in the teams' first meeting of the season.

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