The Knicks came away from Boston’s TD Garden on Thursday night with a hard-fought victory after a game of many lead changes and runs. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 28 points as the Knicks improved their record to 26-14 and continue on top of the NBA's Eastern Division.
The Knicks entered Boston’s TD Garden having lost four of their last six games while the Celtics entered the game having lost their last four games. Coming on the heels of a contentious battle at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and Celtics moved the battlefield to Boston for another round of a spirited and celebrated rivalry. Carmelo Anthony declared that there is “no bad blood” between him and Kevin Garnett after their trash talk and physical battle in their last meeting.
In a first quarter that had eight lead changes, Boston scored the final six points to go ahead, 24-20. The second quarter began with Amare Stoudemire tying the game for the Knicks with two consecutive field goals. J.R. Smith scored on a driving lay-up, and Pablo Prigioni hit a three-point shot to complete a 7-0 run to put the Knicks up, 29-24. Boston’s Kevin Garnett made one free throw and Iman Shumpert scored next to lengthen the Knicks’ run to 9-1.
Boston went on a 15-6 run in the second quarter to pull ahead, 40-31. Shumpert hit a three in the middle of the Boston run and another one at the end of it. Carmelo Anthony made two free throws after going three for twelve from the field to cut the Celtics lead to one point, 40-39. The half ended with the Knicks leading, 50-48. The second quarter added another five lead changes for a total of 13 lead changes in the first half. The Knicks outscored the Celtics, 30-24, in the quarter.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 19 points in the first half, and Anthony led the Knicks with 13 points, making four of 13 shots.. The Knicks outrebounded the Celtics for the half, 30-25. The Celtics dominated the inside game, leading the Knicks in the paint, 32-16. The Celtics scored 11 points from seven Knicks’ turnovers.
Lead changes continued to be the story in the third quarter as the Celtics grabbed the lead back with a Brandon Bass dunk and a Rajon Rondo three-pointer. Anthony made a layup with 4:24 left in the quarter to grab the lead back for the Knicks, 61-60. Two minutes later, Jeff Green hit a three to put the Celtics ahead again, 66-65. By the end of three quarters of play, there were a total of 17 lead changes.
Another story of the game was runs, and the third quarter ended with the Knicks on a 7-0 run and a 72-66 advantage. The Knicks extended their lead to ten points in the fourth quarter and never looked back. Boston outscored the Knicks, 20-17, in the final quarter, but were unable to overtake the visitors.
By game’s end, Anthony's 28 points led all scorers; Rondo led the Celtics with 23 points and Pierce contributed 22. Rondo and Pierce were the only Celtics in double figures. The Knicks got 15 points from Stoudemire, 12 points from Jason Kidd, and ten points from Shumpert.
The Celtics beat the Knicks in the paint, 50-32, but the Knicks won the long-range shooting contest with eight three-pointers to three for the Celtics. Each team had 12 turnovers; the Celtics scored 19 points off of Knicks’ turnovers while the Knicks picked up eight points from Celtics’ turnovers. The balanced scoring of the Knicks led to victory.