Notebook: Knicks 87, Celtics 71



Posted Apr 23, 2013 11:25 PM

Adam Zagoria, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Carmelo Anthony went for 34 points and J.R. Smith added 19 as the Knicks took a 2-0 series lead over the Boston Celtics with an 87-71 win at Madison Square Garden.

Trailing 48-42 at the break, the Knicks seized control by outscoring Boston 32-11 in the third quarter to go up 74-59. Anthony had 13 points in the quarter and closed the game by going 8-for-13.

The Knicks outscored the Celtics 45-23 in the second half.

Raymond Felton added 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and no turnovers for the Knicks, who head to Boston for Game 3 on Friday night.

The Knicks have won consecutive playoff games for the first time since the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals versus Indiana.

Paul Pierce scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half and Jeff Green added 10. The Celtics had planned on getting Kevin Garnett more touches but he battled foul trouble and shot just 4-for-9 for 12 points and 11 rebounds while hearing taunts from the Garden crowd.

QUOTABLE: "[Coach Mike Woodson] just flat out challenged us. He told us that they were playing harder than us on the defensive end and we came out and we knew we couldn't allow that to happen."
-- Smith on the Knicks' second half.

THE STAT: After shooting 38 percent in the first half, the Knicks shot 46 percent in the second. The Celtics went from shooting 56 percent before the break to 19 percent afterward.

TURNING POINT: Trailing 48-39 late in the first half, the Knicks rattled off a 27-4 run bridging the second and third quarters to go ahead, 66-52. Iman Shumpert hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second half for the Knicks. Garnett picked up his fourth foul early in the second half and went to the bench.

QUOTABLE II: "I've heard this corny line a million times. But it's true. The series hasn't started until the road team wins but I'm positive the series has started because we're down 2-0."
-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers

WHO'S HOT: Smith, the newly minted Kia Sixth Man of the Year, shot 7-for-15 from the field and 2-for-4 from deep.

WHO'S NOT: After going scoreless foe first six quarters of the series, Tyson Chandler scored his first points on a three-point play early in the second half. He finished with just three points and five rebounds in 22 minutes. Steve Novak went 1-for-2 for two points after going scoreless in Game 1.

QUOTABLE III: "Every time they bring in another guy, the guy gets older and older, and better and better."
-- Rivers

NOTABLE: Out since March 9 following a right knee debridement, Amar'e Stoudemire is hoping that a return in these playoffs isn't that far off. "If everything goes great, then I'm ready to play, sooner than later, hopefully if everything continues to improve, so we'll see," the Knicks' $100 million power forward told reporters before the game. "The best thing is we have such a great team, so they're doing extremely well in these playoffs so far. The more the team wins, than that gives me more time to get 100 percent." Stoudemire, who missed the first 31 games of the season following a left knee debridement late in the preseason, has yet to begin running, but said his rehabilitation is on schedule. The timetable on the left knee debridement was 6-8 weeks and Stoudemire was back playing in eight weeks.

NOTABLE II: Pablo Prigioni started for the Knicks after missing Game 1 and had one point and five assists in 18 minutes.

QUOTABLE IV: "We just gotta get our rest and break this tape down and figure out how we can be better come Friday."
-- Woodson

QUOTABLE V: "I love the Garden, they love me so much so it's a match." Smith

INSIDE THE ARENA: Louis CK, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Stiller and Bernard King sat courtside.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Friday @ Boston (Game 3), April 28 @ Boston (Game 4), May 3 vs. New York (Game 5, if necessary). For the Celtics, Tuesday vs. New York, April 28 vs. New York, May 3 @ Boston (Game 5, if necessary).