NEW YORK (Sporting Alert) — Carmelo Anthony scored 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter and the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 106-104 in the opening NBA game here at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
The Knicks (1-0) jumped off to a 34-23 first quarter lead and 62-52 half time, but Boston went on a run in the third quarter to make the game interesting.
However, Anthony took over in the fourth and his big scoring performance that went along with eight rebounds sealed the win.
“It’s wasn’t easy,” star forward Anthony told reporters after the game. “We knew it was going to be a battle but we got up early and Boston, being the veteran team that they are, came back and made some runs, but we stuck with it and won the game.”
Amare Stoudemire scored 21 points and pulled down six defensive rebounds for the New York Knicks, while Toney Douglas contributed 19 points. Iman Shumpert had 11 points before he was forced to leave the game with an injury that is expected to keep him out for at least two weeks.
Tyson Chandler only scored seven points for New York, but had six blocks in the win.
Meanwhile, star point guard Rajon Rondo had 31 points, 13 assists and five steals to lead the Boston Celtics (0-1) in the defeat.
Brandon Bass and Ray Allen each had 20 points, with Bass also pulling down 11 rebounds. Kevin Garnett scored 15 points and eight boards, but missed the last shot, which would have send the game into overtime.
New York will next face Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on Wednesday, while the Boston Celtics will play the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday.
Boston vs New York Top Performers
Boston: R. Rondo 31 Pts, 5 Reb, 13 Ast, 5 Stl
New York: C. Anthony 37 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk
12:00 PM ET, December 25, 2011
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
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