Anthony thrives but Celtics survive

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
11:16
PM ET
By ESPN Stats & Info
ESPN.com
Archive
In the long and distinguished playoff history for the Boston Celtics the home crowd has seen many great performances from opposing players.

Carmelo Anthony
Anthony
However, the Celtics almost always still find a way to come out on top, like Tuesday as they defeated the New York Knicks despite a playoff career-high 42 points, 17 rebounds, and six assists from Carmelo Anthony.

According to Elias, Anthony is just the second player in NBA history to have 40 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a playoff game at Boston.

The only other player to do so was Cliff Hagan in the 1961 NBA Finals for the St. Louis Hawks. Just like tonight, the Celtics won that game.

Elias tells us Tuesday marked the 22nd career 40-point game by a visiting player in the playoffs at Boston. The Celtics are 15-7 in such games, including winning each of the last 10 times it has happened.

It’s only fitting this game from Anthony came on the eve of the 25-year anniversary of Michael Jordan’s NBA playoff record 63-point performance.

That came at the Boston Garden in Game 2 of the 1986 First Round playoff series between the Bulls and the Celtics. As odd as it may seem, the Celtics were victorious on that night as well.

Rajon Rondo
Rondo
While Anthony will garner most of the headlines, the Celtics were in the game thanks to 30 points from Rajon Rondo, which set a new playoff career high.

He controlled the tempo early scoring 12 of his 14 first-quarter points on transition buckets. This was after he had just four transition points in Game 1 and the Celtics as a team had 15.

Game footage showed Rondo got inside the paint at will, scoring 22 of his 30 points on field goals within five feet of the basket.

He made 68.8 percent of his 16 attempts from this range, while shooting just 28.6 percent from outside five feet.

While Rondo dominated, the story – as has been time and again this season between the Knicks and Celtics - was execution down the stretch.

The Knicks should be commended for having hung around, but missing Chauncey Billups for the entire game and Amare Stoudemire for the second half caught up with them in the final minutes.

On Tuesday Boston finished the game on an 8-to-2 run as New York made just one of its final five field goal attempts while turning the ball over twice. Anthony took zero of those shots thanks to constant Boston double teams.

On the other end, no matter who the Celtics have gone to down the stretch, they have seemed to have the answer against the Knicks this season.

In Tuesday’s game it was Kevin Garnett who made the go-ahead field goal with 19.3 seconds remaining.

This is the third game this season (including regular season) between the Knicks and Celtics that has been decided by one possession. In each, the Celtics have had a different player make the go-ahead basket.

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