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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Halftime Reaction: Knicks 50, Celtics 48

By Ian Begley

BOSTON -- The Knicks are in Boston looking for revenge against a Celtics team that beat them at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 7 and got under Carmelo Anthony's skin.

So far, things are going pretty well for New York. The Knicks lead, 50-48, after two quarters.

Here are a few observations from the first half:

MELO vs. KG: This is the first time Anthony and Kevin Garnett have shared the floor since Anthony confronted Garnett in the bowels of Madison Square Garden after the Knicks' loss to Boston on Jan. 7.

Anthony has insisted that the incident is behind him and, by all appearances, there has been no carryover from that night.

Garnett and Anthony bumped fists before tipoff.

Garnett had a wicked -- as they say in Boston -- block on an Anthony layup attempt, much to the delight of the TD Garden crowd.

Anthony didn't shoot well in the first half, but contributed in other ways. He had seven rebounds and two assists.

He finished 4-for-13 from the field with 13 points.

Garnett had five points and a game-high nine rebounds, helping the Celtics keep pace despite their poor performance from beyond the arc (2-for-11).

Paul Pierce has a game-high 19 points.

Boston would be down by a significant margin were it not for Rajon Rondo, who has a game-high nine assists. Anthony leads the Knicks with two assists, another sign that this team misses Ray Felton.


RHYTHM COMING BACK FOR AMARE:
Amar'e Stoudemire looks strong on the offensive end, with several fluid moves around the rim and effective cuts along the baseline.

In one sequence, he hit a layup on the right side over Jared Sullinger, blocked Sullinger's shot on the other end and then converted a reverse dunk over the Celtics rookie.

Stoudemire has 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. He is 7-for-8 from the free-throw line and the Knicks are +13 in his 14 minutes on the floor.

Iman Shumpert has ten points but has picked up three first-half fouls.

KINDA QUIET: Aside from some isolated chants directed at Anthony, the atmosphere in the first half at the TD Garden has been fairly underwhelming. The crowd seems a little subdued. Maybe that changes in the second half.