Notebook: Knicks 85, Celtics 78



Posted Apr 20, 2013 6:43 PM

Adam Zagoria, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Carmelo Anthony scored 17 of his game-high 36 points in the second half, including a critical steal and layup with two and a half minutes remaining, and the Knicks fended off the Boston Celtics, 85-78, to take Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series at Madison Square Garden.

With about two and a half minutes remaining, Anthony stole a pass from Paul Pierce on the perimeter and went in uncontested for a layup that put the Knicks up 81-76 after they had trailed by seven points in the third quarter. He then added a deep jumper from the right wing that made it 83-76 and engendered "MVP" chants from the crowd.

The Knicks outscored the Celtics, 18-8, in the fourth period, when Boston shot 3-for-8.

J.R. Smith added 15 points off the bench and Raymond Felton had 13 points and six assists for the Knicks, who began a playoff series at home for the first time since 2001. Jason Kidd played very well for the Knicks, chipping in eight points, five rebounds, three assists and two clutch late steals. Kenyon Martin added 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

Jeff Green went for 26 points, but only six in the second half with Anthony and Smith guarding him. Pierce had 21 and Avery Bradley 15 for the Celtics. Kevin Garnett managed just eight points on 4-for-12 shooting to go with nine rebounds.

Game 2 is Tuesday night at the Garden.

QUOTABLE: "This is a big game for us to go get, it's on our homecourt. We didn't do nothing except protect our homecourt. We gotta do the same thing in Game 2."
- Anthony in his on-court interview.

THE STAT: The Celtics committed 20 turnovers to the Knicks' 13.

TURNING POINT: Trailing 70-63 late in the third, the Knicks used a 9-0 run that bridged the third and fourth periods to go ahead 72-70 on an off-balance shot off the glass and ensuing foul shot by Martin. Boston tied it at 72 on a basket by Garnett, but Anthony hit back-to-back jumpers to extend the lead to 76-72.

QUOTABLE II: "Everybody that was on him played great defense on him. He's just a great player. We have to continue to make things hard for him."
-- Bradley on Anthony, who went 13-for-29.

WHO'S HOT: Green was considered by many to be the X-factor entering the series and in this game he was. He went 8-for-15 from the field and 3-for-5 from deep.

WHO'S NOT: After missing 16 of the Knicks' final 20 games with a bulging disc in his neck, Tyson Chandler started but was clearly not himself. He looked stiff, failed to score and at one point rubbed his neck while leaving the game. He finished with zero points and five rebounds in 20 minutes.

QUOTABLE III: "Tyson didn't have it tonight. That's no knock against him. He gave us what he had and I just elected to go with Kenyon."
-- Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

NOTABLE: With Pablo Prigioni (right ankle sprain) listed as inactive, the Knicks started Chris Copeland in his place alongside Felton, Iman Shumpert, Anthony and Chandler. After putting up 30+ points in his last two games, Copeland went scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting. As for Prigioni possibly playing Game 2 on Tuesday, Woodson said, "I won't rule that out." He added: "I'm just going to give him a few more days to just make sure that he's ready." The Knicks were 16-2 down the stretch with Prigioni starting at the point.

NOTABLE II: Amar'e Stoudemire (right knee debridement) is also inactive and is not expected back until the second round of the playoffs, assuming the Knicks get that far. "He's coming back,'' Woodson said. "But I don't think it's any time soon.''

QUOTABLE IV: "Jason has been doing this all season. Loose balls, strips, keeping balls alive. He just seems to be in the right place at the right time."
-- Woodson on Kidd.

QUOTABLE V: "At the end of the day, this is one city, this is the USA. We gotta stand up for one another. That's what I felt like doing today."
-- Anthony about his pre-game comments indicating the Knicks were praying for the city and people of Boston.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Michael J. Fox, Bernard King and Mark Sanchez sat courtside. Sanchez was heavily booed when the camera showed him.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Sunday vs. Boston (Game 2), Friday @ Boston (Game 3), April 28 @ Boston (Game 4). For the Celtics, Saturday @ New York, Tuesday vs. New York, April 28 vs. New York.