Knicks Defeat Celtics in Game 1
NEW YORK (AP) – Carmelo Anthony started fast, struggled through the middle, and finished with a flurry.
And the New York Knicks, after knocking the Boston Celtics from the top of the Atlantic Division, took the first step toward knocking them out of the playoffs.
Anthony scored 36 points, leading the Knicks to an 85-78 victory Saturday in their playoff opener.
The NBA’s scoring leader had 10 quick points and endured a tough shooting night from there before scoring eight points in the fourth quarter, helping New York take a 1-0 lead in a series for the first time since the 2001 first round against Toronto.
Anthony shot only 13 for 29 from the field but made consecutive baskets late in the final period, when the Knicks held Boston to three baskets and eight points.
Game 2 is Tuesday 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 3 of 11.
The Celtics led after three quarters and tied the game for the final time at 72 on Garnett’s basket with 8:13 remaining. Anthony then made consecutive jumpers, and after the Celtics got back within three later in the period, he made a layup and a long jumper that gave New York an 83-76 advantage with 1:21 left.
Nuggets 97, Warriors 95
DENVER (AP) – Andre Miller scored a playoff career-high 28 points and sank a nifty layup with 1.3 seconds left that lifted the Denver Nuggets to a victory against the Golden State Warriors.
Miller scored 18 in the frenetic fourth quarter.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center, where the Nuggets posted an NBA-best 38-3 home record during the season.
The Warriors trailed 93-92 when Curry was pickpocketed by Ty Lawson, whose layup made it a three-point game with 35 seconds remaining.
Curry, who shot his way into NBA history by sinking a record 272 3-pointers this season, got a whistling pass from Jarrett Jack and swished a contested 3 with Lawson all over him, then did his funky dance downcourt during the timeout with 14.5 seconds left.
Miller inbounded the ball, then got it back and isolated on Green until the driving to the hoop for the winning bucket.
Nets 106, Bulls 89
NEW YORK (AP) – Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and the Nets turned the Brooklyn blackout into a blowout, beating the Chicago Bulls 106-89 on Saturday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Williams scored 22 points, Lopez had 21 and the Nets ripped apart the Bulls’ vaunted defense with a spectacular second quarter, when they made 16 of 20 shots.
Joe Johnson finished with 16 for the Nets, who made their successful first season in Brooklyn even better with a victory in their first playoff appearance since 2007. They will host Game 2 on Monday night.
The Nets wore their road black uniforms and fans were encouraged to wear black as well to make it a “blackout” for the first major postseason game in Brooklyn since Oct. 10, 1956, when the Yankees beat the Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series at Ebbets Field.
Carlos Boozer had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls.