Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points, and the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 85-78 on Saturday in their playoff opener.
After knocking the Celtics from the top of the Atlantic Division, the Knicks took the first step to knocking them out of the playoffs by holding Boston to three baskets and eight points in the final period.
Anthony, the NBA’s scoring leader, shot only 13-for-29 from the field, but scored eight points in the fourth quarter, including consecutive baskets late in the period that finally gave the Knicks breathing room in a tight game.
Game 2 is tomorrow night, before the Celtics host Game 3 on Friday in what will be their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings.
Jeff Green scored 26 points and Paul Pierce added 21 for the Celtics, who badly missed injured point guard Rajon Rondo, committing 21 turnovers that led to 20 points. The Knicks got their hands on the ball at will in the fourth quarter, when Boston shot three of 11.
Kevin Garnett had eight points and nine rebounds, but shot only four of 12 from the field. Jason Terry, another veteran on a young Celtics team, missed all five shots off the bench.
CLIPPERS 112, GRIZZLIES 91
In Los Angeles, while Chris Paul led seven players in double figures with 23 points and Eric Bledsoe had 15 as the Clippers beat the Grizzlies, while getting just one dunk in their playoff opener.
Chauncey Billups scored 14 points, while Caron Butler and Jamal Crawford had 13 apiece on a night when Blake Griffin was held to 10 points and five rebounds before fouling out with 3 minutes, 32 seconds left as Lob City was grounded.
Reserve Jerryd Bayless led the Grizzlies with 19 points, Marc Gasol had 16 and Zach Randolph had 13 points and four rebounds while playing with five fouls in the rematch of last year’s first-round series, won by the Clippers in seven games. Bayless was one of four Grizzlies with four fouls.
Game 2 is tonight at Staples Center.
In other NBA action, it was:
‧ Nuggets 97, Warriors 95
‧ Nets 106, Bulls 89