BOSTON, April 20 – Kevin Garnett sank the go-ahead basket with 14 seconds left as the Boston Celtics spoiled a 42-point game from Carmelo Anthony to beat the New York Knicks 96-93 Tuesday.
Garnett also stole the ball as the clock ticked down to seal the win over the Knicks, giving the Celtics a 2-0 lead in their first round NBA playoff series.
"We were lucky to win," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.
The Knicks played the second half without star Amare Stoudemire, who had back spasms. Chauncey Billups missed the game with a sore left knee.
Rajon Rondo led Boston with a career playoff-high 30 points and seven assists. Paul Pierce finished with 20 points.
"I wasn’t really in a nice rhythm," said Garnett. "I just remained calm, went to a shot I knew I could make."
In the other East series contest, Dwight Howard had 33 points and 19 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson added 13 points and eight rebounds as the Orlando Magic held on to beat the Atlanta Hawks 88-82.
Garnett drained a key hook shot after forcing Jared Jeffries back into the lane. The Knicks then got the ball to Anthony, who tried to pass under the basket to Jeffries. Garnett grabbed the ball and immediately called a timeout with four seconds on the clock.
Ray Allen finished with 18 points, including four three-pointers. Garnett had with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Anthony tried but couldn’t do it all on his own for the Knicks. He tied a playoff career-high with 42 points. He also had 17 rebounds and a half dozen assists in the loss.
Toney Douglas had 14 points and seven rebounds for New York, which hasn’t won a playoff game since 2001. Douglas started in place of Billups.
"I probably (have) never been more proud of a team and how they battled the circumstances," Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said."
Stoudemire expects to be ready for the next game Friday in New York.
"I should be ready for game three," he said. "We’ll see how it goes (Wednesday) and next day, but I’m pretty sure – I’m hoping – I’ll be ready Friday."
Stoudemire believes he injured himself during the warmup.
"I couldn’t hardly move. I was trying to play through it," he said. "Once I felt that sharp pain, I couldn’t take it."
Orlando levelled their best-of-seven series at 1-1, using a 10-1 run to close the third quarter and take an 11-point lead into the fourth.
Orlando’s defence held the Hawks to just 39 percent shooting as they fought off a late Atlanta charge down the stretch.
Jamal Crawford led Atlanta with 25 points and Josh Smith finished with 17.
Game three is Friday in Atlanta.