Game Preview: Celtics at Knicks
While Carmelo Anthony followed his record-setting performance with another impressive display, the New York Knicks' latest victory was more of an overall team effort.
Coach Mike Woodson is hoping to see that trend continue.
Seeking a third consecutive win, the Knicks look to avenge two earlier losses to the Boston Celtics as they continue a season-high eight-game homestand Tuesday night.
After breaking the franchise and current Madison Square Garden record with a career-best 62 points in Friday's 125-96 win over Charlotte, Anthony scored 35 as New York beat the Lakers 110-103 on Sunday.
Four other Knicks scored in double figures, including Raymond Felton with 20 and Tim Hardaway Jr. with 18 off the bench. Fellow reserve J.R. Smith scored 16 and Tyson Chandler added 13 and 14 rebounds as New York held a 45-35 edge on the glass.
"Last year we had five guys that averaged in double figures and I've always wanted a team where you just didn't know where it was going to come from," Woodson said. "And we know Melo's going to get his, but we need everybody to be a part of the offense and touch the ball and feel good about themselves."
While Anthony will continue to carry the load, New York could benefit from getting Felton more involved. The Knicks are 8-3 when he scores at least 13 compared to 4-13 when he doesn't. They are also 5-11 when he doesn't play.
"He's a guy that, he just wants to win," Felton said of Anthony. "Sometimes he likes to take it on his shoulders, so we have to take some of that pressure off of him by hitting shots, by making plays offensively."
Anthony has been especially hot over a 12-game stretch at home, averaging 33.0 points while going 37 of 77 (48.1 percent) from 3-point range. He'll try to keep it going against the Celtics, who have held him to 35.9 percent shooting in taking both matchups this season.
The seven-time All-Star had 19 points in a 114-73 defeat Dec. 8, then scored 26 in a 90-86 road loss five nights later. Felton was held scoreless and missed all six of his shot attempts in the first meeting before sitting out the second due to injury.
Pulling out another win won't be easy for a Celtics team that's dropped 17 of 20 while shooting 28.8 percent from beyond the arc. Boston is coming off Sunday's 85-79 loss to Brooklyn, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett's first game back since getting traded last summer.
After averaging 22.3 points over the previous four games, Jeff Green managed eight and shot 2 of 13, including 1 of 7 from long distance. Jared Sullinger scored two on 1 of 7 from the field.
Rajon Rondo played a season-high 30 minutes in his fifth game back since returning from a torn ACL. He finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists but also committed six turnovers.
"It's actually progressing as we thought," coach Brad Stevens said. "He played more minutes, obviously, and that was by design. ... That probably helps him get a better rhythm when he's in the game.
"I still think he's (in) game five of exhibition season, and I think he'll continue to get better."
Rondo is averaging 18.4 points, 12.8 assists and 8.6 boards in his last five games against the Knicks.
Sullinger has scored a combined 40 points while shooting 68.2 percent in the season series.
The Celtics had dropped 10 straight on the road before beating Washington 113-111 in overtime Wednesday.