Celtics Defeat Knicks As Melo Awaits Garnett At Celtic Team Bus

Published on: 8th January, 2013

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New York – No matter how well the Knicks have played this season, or how good a start they’ve had through these first 34 games, the one constant in the NBA’s Eastern Conference they should never, ever take their eyes off of is the Boston Celtics.

Left for dead by many who believed the long-time core of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo was finally crumbling, the Celtics have somehow turned around their season by winning their last three games in a row, including a huge win over the Knicks tonight at Madison Square Garden, 102-96.

It was vintage Celtics, with clutch shooting in the last quarter and stifling defense that robbed the Knicks of any continuity on the offensive end.

Pierce scored 23 points while Garnett had 19 points and 10 rebounds as Boston won in a heated first meeting of the season between the Atlantic Division rivals.

Carmelo Anthony left without talking to reporters and the Knicks wouldn’t comment on Anthony’s postgame trip in the wrong direction, in which he walked off the court in the direction of the Celtics locker room instead of the Knicks. Celtics coach Doc Rivers didn’t confirm it but neither would he deny it.

“I’m going to let y’all figure that one out. I’m going to stay out of that. If it was the playoffs I’d tell on him,” quipped Rivers. “But since it’s not I’m just going to be quiet.”

Regarding basketball though, Rivers sees a good trend happening for his team.

“The last three games have been terrific,” he said. “When you have Indiana and Atlanta back to back and then you play the Knicks after that, to win all three of those games, that’s great for our team.”

But, it wasn’t so great for Mike Woodson’s Knicks.

“The Celtics were very good defensively,” said Woodson. “They were more aggressive than we were and then we gave up a lot of turnovers, and they hit a few good shots.”

The aggressiveness took place both on and off the court, though.

Several reports shortly after the game indicated that Anthony charged towards the Celtics locker room before being restrained by his teammates and Woodson.

A shouting match ensued, with police and security staying in between the players before things escalated any further. Woodson eventually came on the scene to try and calm his star player and get him away from the area.

There was also another confrontation near the Celtics team bus where Anthony was nearby, waiting for Garnett.

Throughout the game – but particularly in the second half – Anthony had a number of verbal exchanges with C’s big man, Garnett.

It got to the point where both were whistled for a double technical foul by official Tony Brothers.

Even after the double technical, it was clear that the verbal tit-for-tat was still alive as both players could be seen frequently still tossing verbal barbs at one another.

Garnett chalked up the in-game and post-game festivities to just a couple of players trying to do what they can to help their respective teams be successful in a tightly contested game.

“Heat of battle, guys go back and fourth,” Garnett said. “He’s trying to get his team to go, I’m trying to get my team to go. Both teams are colliding; not to mention it’s the Knicks and the Celtics. That’s just what it is.”

Rivers also downplayed the incident.

“The game just got heated. It’s basketball,” Rivers said. “There’s nothing wrong with getting heated. It happens. It’s a fun game, it’s competitive. It’s rough at times and that’s good. I think all that’s good. It should never carry over past that. I had my moments as a player as well. It does happen but you don’t want it to; and whenever it does, you feel terrible later.

Rivers added, “This is the way the game should be played to me. It should be a competitive, hard game.”

After several years of ho hum games between these two long-standing rivals, it looks like it’s “game on” for a Knicks-Celtics rivalry, again. These teams meet again in Boston on January 24th. Security might need to be beefed up for the pre and post-game festivities.

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