NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points, and the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 85-78 on Saturday in their playoff opener.
After knocking the Celtics from the top of the Atlantic Division, the Knicks took the first step to knocking them out of the playoffs by holding Boston to three baskets and eight points in the final period.
Anthony, the NBA’s scoring leader, shot only 13 for 29 from the field but scored eight points in the fourth quarter, including consecutive baskets late in the period that finally gave the Knicks breathing room in a tight game.
Game 2 is Tuesday night before the Celtics host Game 3 on Friday in what will be their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings.
Jeff Green scored 26 points and Paul Pierce added 21 for the Celtics, who badly missed injured point guard Rajon Rondo, committing 21 turnovers that led to 20 points. The Knicks got their hands on the ball at will in the fourth quarter, when Boston shot 3 of 11.
Kevin Garnett had eight points and nine rebounds but shot only 4 of 12 from the field. Jason Terry, another veteran on a young Celtics team, missed all five shots off the bench.
Nuggets 97, Warriors 95
DENVER — Andre Miller scored a playoff career-high 28 points and sank a nifty layup with 1.3 seconds left that lifted the Denver Nuggets to a win over the Golden State Warriors.
Miller drove left past rookie Draymond Green, did an up-and-under between two defenders under the basket and banked the ball off the glass with his right hand.
The Warriors inbounded the ball and Stephen Curry’s desperation 3-pointer wasn’t anywhere close as the horn sounded and the Nuggets celebrated their 24th straight win at the Pepsi Center.
Nets 106, Bulls 89
NEW YORK — Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and the Nets turned the Brooklyn blackout into a blowout, beating the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Williams scored 22 points, Lopez had 21 and the Nets ripped apart the Bulls’ vaunted defense with a spectacular second quarter, when they made 16 of 20 shots.
Joe Johnson finished with 16 for the Nets, who made their successful first season in Brooklyn even better with a victory in their first playoff appearance since 2007. They will host Game 2 on Monday night.
The Nets wore their road black uniforms and fans were encouraged to wear black as well to make it a “blackout.”