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Sunday, April 17, 2011
Knicks succumb to Celtics pressure

By ESPN Stats & Info

The Boston Celtics forged another second half comeback against the New York Knicks to take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Ray Allen's three-point field goal with 11.6 seconds remaining put the Celtics ahead for good. Allen scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half.

He is now 2-for-3 on go-ahead three-point field goal attempts with 24 seconds or less remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime in playoff games since joining the Celtics in 2007-08. Rashard Lewis is the only other player with two such makes during that span.

New York blew a double-digit halftime lead against the Celtics for the second time this season, both coming since the Carmelo Anthony trade.

The games were eerily similar with New York shooting under 35 percent in the second-half in each of the contests.

In the two games combined the Knicks were outscored by 48 points in the second half, while Carmelo Anthony accounted for a total of just eight points.

On Sunday it was the Celtics forcing their style of play that got them back into the game.

The Knicks averaged 14.6 transition plays per game in the regular season and finished with the eighth most transition points in the NBA.

But in Game 1 against the Celtics, video footage showed the Knicks only got into transition on six plays and did not record a single point.

The Knicks, forced to play in the half court for much of the game, succumbed to the Celtics pressure in the second half.

Boston held New York to 0.67 points per play in the half court after halftime.

Even worse, the Knicks scored on only 31.4 percent of their possessions in the half court, down from 55.8 percent in the first half.

Despite the struggles, the Knicks still had a shot with the ball down two points as time was winding down.

Carmelo Anthony scored only three of his 15 points in the second half and was 1-for-10 from the field before missing the final attempt, a potential game-winning three-point field.

So why did the Knicks go to Anthony?

Exactly one week ago today he hit a game winning jumper with 4.9 seconds remaining as the Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers, which sparked this note from Elias:

• Carmelo Anthony has made five go-ahead or game-tying field goals in the final ten seconds of either the fourth quarter or overtime this season (two for Denver and three for New York), the most by any NBA player.

Essentially Anthony was the most clutch player in the NBA this season, however he was certainly not the most clutch Knicks player today.

That honor belonged to Amare Stoudemire, who led the Knicks with 28 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. He went 6-for-7 from the field in the fourth quarter, but didn’t even get a touch on any of the Knicks final seven plays.

Instead Carmelo Anthony used four of the final seven possessions without recording a point (two turnovers, two missed shots).