(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks try to take a 2-0 lead over the Boston
Celtics Tuesday night when the two teams continue the first round of the
Eastern Conference playoffs at Madison Square Garden.
Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks Saturday in their 85-78 victory. He
scored a game-high 36 points, but defense was the key for New York. The Knicks
held the Celtics to just eight points in the fourth quarter and 25 in the
"We protected our home court and got our first win. Game Two is going to be
even tougher and harder," said Anthony. "We have to keep that mentality. We
have to have a 48-minute mentality."
J.R. Smith was next for the Knicks with 15 points. The performance came just
two days before he won this season's NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
"I can't really put this into words. It's been a long time coming," Smith said
at his press conference. "It's more about the team. It's all about my
Raymond Felton and Kenyon Martin both scored in double figures in Game 1.
Defense is what gave the Knicks a 1-0 series lead.
New York allowed 53 points in the first half, but put the clamps down over the
final 24 minutes. In the fourth, Boston made three baskets, committed eight
turnovers and shot 27 percent.
"We made some adjustments," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson. "I thought our
pick-and-roll coverage was pretty good in the second half. It was a total team
effort in terms of how we covered up for one another where there were
breakdowns in the second half."
One of the biggest defensive adjustments the Knicks made in Game 1 had to do
with Jeff Green. The Boston forward torched the Knicks for 20 first-half
points, but was held to six over the final two quarters. Green also committed
four turnovers himself in the fourth quarter.
"They started to be more aggressive when I caught the ball, they were coming
with double teams," said Green. "I didn't get out in transition like I did in
the first half."
Paul Pierce added 21 for the Celtics and Avery Bradley chipped in 15. Kevin
Garnett contributed eight points and Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee each had
four. The Boston bench only tallied four points on the afternoon, which all
came from Lee.
"Our bench has to give us something," admitted Boston head coach Doc Rivers.
The Celtics also need to take care of the basketball. They committed 21
turnovers, which led to 20 Knicks points.
The Celtics bested the New York Knicks in four games in the first round of the
Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night in Boston.
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