The NBA Playoffs opened up exactly how they should have – with a knock-down, drag-out war between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.
Boston and New York went back and forth throughout Game 1. Neither team led by more than seven points in the contest, which featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes. This one was destined to go down to the wire.
Until the Celtics went cold.
Boston could not buy a bucket during the fourth quarter. It shot just 3-of-11 from the field in the frame and scored just eight points. Additionally, they only made it to the free-throw line for two attempts.
Teams can snag ugly wins in the playoffs but they can’t do so while being ice cold from the field. Boston learned that first hand Saturday afternoon as it fell in Game 1.
Key Box Score Line
The Celtics knew they would have their hands full with Carmelo Anthony during this series and he showed why Saturday afternoon. Anthony used his no-conscience mindset on offense to rack up a game-high 36 points on 13-of-29 shooting.
Anthony took advantage of every player who defended him, from Paul Pierce to Jeff Green to Brandon Bass. This year’s scoring champion struggled during the middle portions of the game but he was electric in the first quarter, when he scored 13 points, and in the fourth quarter, when he dropped in eight points and a critical assist.
Although Anthony’s points are what stand out the most, the rest of his stat line can’t be ignored. He led New York’s starters in rebounding with six boards and also led the game with four steals.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Celtics shot a perfect 19-for-19 from the free-throw line.
- Both teams grabbed 40 rebounds.
- Boston's bench scored only four points. Courtney Lee, who made four free throws, accounted for all of them.
- Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 36 points on 29 shot attempts.
- Anthony made 13 field goals, while no Celtic attempted more than 15.
- New York scored 20 points off of Boston's 21 turnovers.
- Jeff Green led the Celtics with 26 points.
- Paul Pierce scored 21 points, grabbed five boards and dished out a game-high seven assists.
- New York scored 18 points in both the third and fourth quarters.
- Each team's largest lead was seven points.
- There were 11 ties and 11 lead changes in the game.
- Both teams scored 30 points in the paint.
- Boston made only seven field goals in the second half.
Quote of the Night
It just seemed like we wanted Paul to win it for us. We sat around and watched him play, and we can't do that. Doc Rivers on the Celtics leaning too heavily on Paul PierceMore quotes >>