Carmelo Anthony scored a game high 37 points and the New York Knicks staged a blazing comeback in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, as they defeated the Boston Celtics by a final margin of 106-104. The second half was truly a roller-coaster as the Celtics trailed at the half by ten points but would dominate in the third to hold an eight point lead at the end of the period. However, Anthony took his game to another level in the final 12 minutes of play as he scored 17 points including two critical shots at the line that would be the winning points with 16 seconds left in the contest. Amar’e Stoudemire knocked down 21 points while Toney Douglas added 19 points in the victory.
Boston had two players who recorded double-doubles as Rajon Rondo had 31 points and 13 assists while Brandon Bass came off of the bench with 20 points and 11 boards; but it was still not enough to get by the Knicks. The Celtics were without All-Star forward Paul Pierce who was on the sidelines with a bruised right heel. Sasha Pavlovic got the start and was not up to the task on either end of the floor scoring zero points and allowing Anthony to dominate the contest.
New York came out of the gate on fire offensively, while the Celtics looked out of sync during the first period. Guard Iman Shumpert hit a shot four feet from the basket with 19 seconds left and the Knicks held a 34-23 advantage at the conclusion of the quarter. Boston found their shooting touch in the second, however New York still had a double-digit lead as they went into the half with the score 62-52.
Boston made their run in the third as Rajon Rondo drove to the basket with 7:13 on the clock laying the rock up and in and knotting up the score at 69-69. The Celtics would soon take the upper hand and hold onto it through the end of the period heading into the fourth on top 87-79. Boston retained the advantage until Anthony drained a 25 foot trey with 3:25 left to play and the score was tied at 100-100. The two opponents would keep exchanging the lead until Carmelo knocked down the two shots at the stripe with 16 seconds left and the Knicks opened the campaign with a win.
Anthony scored 37 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block while Stoudemire put 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Douglas dropped 19 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds while Shumpert came off the bench with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist.
Rondo knocked down 31 points, dished off 13 assists, 5 rebounds nd 5 steals while Bass scored 20 points, grabbed 11 boards and had 1 steal. Ray Allen had 20 points, 4 rebounds nd 3 assists while Kevin Garnett added 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. New York with a 1-0 record next play Wednesday in the Bay Area as they take on the Golden State Warriors while Boston heads to South Beach to face the Heat on Tuesday.