New York, NY – Merry Christmas, New York.
Carmelo Anthony scored 17 fourth-quarter points and knocked down a pair of free throws with 16.3 seconds remaining, lifting the Knicks to a 106-104 season-opening win over the rival Celtics.
The Knicks blew an early 17-point lead and trailed 87-79 entering the fourth. But Anthony scored his team's first seven points of the quarter, and hit a game-tying trey with three minutes remaining, triggering a back-and-forth finish. He finished with 37 points, while Amar'e Stoudemire added 21 and Toney Douglas had 19.
Key offseason acquisition Tyson Chandler had seven points and six blocks for New York, which halted an eight-game slide against the Celtics, including a four-game sweep in the opening round of last year's playoffs.
The Celtics, without Paul Pierce, were carried by Rajon Rondo's 31 points and 13 assists. Brandon Bass, acquired from the Magic during the offseason, added 20 points and 11 boards. Ray Allen also scored 20 and Kevin Garnett chipped in 15.