Notebook: Celtics 102, Knicks 96

Posted Jan 7, 2013 11:46 PM

By Adam Zagoria, for

THE FACTS: Despite playing without a suspended Rajon Rondo, the Boston Celtics came into Madison Square Garden and handled the Knicks, 102-96, in a game that became extremely chippy late.

Carmelo Anthony finished with 20 points on 6-of-26 shooting and appeared to leave the court before the final horn sounded. He then reportedly angrily confronted Kevin Garnett outside the Celtics' locker room. He did not address the media.

Anthony and Garnett (19 points, 10 rebounds) were called for a double-technical foul midway through the fourth period and Anthony scored just three points afterward.

Paul Pierce overcame early foul trouble to finish with 23 points, including a fadeaway jumper over Tyson Chandler (13 points, 17 rebounds) with 45 seconds left to give the Celtics a 100-94 advantage.

Jeff Green scored 16 points and Avery Bradley had 13 for Boston.

J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 24 points off the bench. Amar'e Stoudemire scored a season-best 13 points off the bench.

Boston (17-17) moved to within six games of New York (23-11) in the Atlantic Division.

QUOTABLE: "Yeah it got intense in the end, but for the most part it was us trying to put plays together to get stops. I thought we did a good job of doing that."
-- Garnett

THE STAT: The Knicks shot 10-of-17 from downtown in the first half but were just 4-of 15 in the second.

TURNING POINT: The Knicks led 56-53 at the half but were outscored 23-16 in the third period and 26-24 in the fourth. Their last lead came when Smith hit a jumper to put them ahead 68-67 in the third, but Boston closed the period on a 9-4 spurt.

QUOTABLE II: "I think we all were a little frustrated the way the game was going."
-- Chandler.

WHO'S HOT: The Celtics are now a perfect 3-0 since Bradley was inserted into the starting lineup following off-season surgery on both shoulders. He was 6-of-11 from the field while adding five assists and three rebounds.

WHO'S NOT: Despite being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Anthony struggled with foul trouble and with his shot. He never got in a groove and ended 6-of-26 from the floor and 4-of-12 from the line.

QUOTABLE III: "Melo's capable of having a bad night. Melo's been pretty damn good for our ballclub. But you gotta give them credit. They did everything in terms of applying pressure up the middle of the floor. And once they got into the halfcourt, they were pretty good offensively."
-- Woodson.

NOTABLE: Rondo was suspended for the game without pay for making contact with a game official and failure to cooperate with a league investigation. The incident involving the official occurred with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter of the Celtics' 89-81 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 6. "I saw what had happened, I didn't think anything of it," Rivers said. "The old saying, 'You're not given a reputation, you earn one.' And I'm sure that had a lot to do with it as well. Listen, we just move on for us. I'm far more focused on the game tonight than that decision."

NOTABLE II: Woodson said Iman Shumpert "was going through some tests today" as he recovers from a torn ACL. "If he's ready to go, we'll put him on the practice floor [Tuesday]," Woodson said. "He's getting close, that's all I can tell you at this point."

QUOTABLE IV: "Nothing."
-- Chandler on what happened behind the scenes with Anthony

INSIDE THE ARENA: Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist sat courtside.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Thursday @ Indiana, Friday vs. Chicago, Sunday vs. New Orleans. For the Celtics, Wednesday vs. Phoneix, Friday vs. Houston, Monday vs. Charlotte.