93 - 96 Final
  for this game

Celtics go two up on Knicks with another narrow victory

Apr 20, 2011 - 3:40 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett made the go-ahead hook shot with 13.3 seconds remaining to lift the Boston Celtics over the New York Knicks, 96-93, in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at TD Garden.

After Jared Jeffries put the Knicks up by one, 93-92, Garnett made a hook shot over Jeffries to put Boston in front.

"I wasn't really in a nice rhythm to be honest. I was just taking what [Jeffries] was giving me," Garnett said. "I just remained calm, went to a shot that I knew I could make."

The Celtics then doubled team Carmelo Anthony, who passed down low to Jeffries. Garnett stole the ball and called a timeout with 4.1 seconds left.

Delonte West made two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining to ensure Boston emerged with a 2-0 series lead.

Rajon Rondo scored a playoff career-high 30 points to go with seven assists for the third-seeded Celtics, who won 87-85 in Game 1 on Sunday. Paul Pierce added 20 points.

Ray Allen, who buried a three-pointer with 11.6 seconds remaining on Sunday, made four three-pointers en route to 18 points. Garnett ended with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Anthony put New York on his back, tying a playoff career-high with 42 points. He also had 17 boards and six assists for the Knicks, who were without guard Chauncey Billups (knee).

To make matters worse, Amare Stoudemire left the game with back spasms in the second quarter and did not return. He said after the game he suffered the injury during warmups but was "pretty sure [he'll] be ready to go by [Game 3 on] Friday."

Toney Douglas, starting in place of Billups, had 14 points and seven rebounds for New York, which hasn't won a playoff game since 2001.

"Going down the stretch, just looking at it, I probably [have] never been more proud of a team and how they battled the circumstances, how hard they played and how tough they played," Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni said. "[They were] mentally tough. [We] gave ourselves a chance to win. We just didn't quite do it."

The series shifts to New York and Madison Square Garden on Friday for Game 3.

Anthony made a three-pointer over Pierce with 2:37 remaining to give New York a 91-88 margin. Pierce responded with two free throws at the other end to cut the gap to one.

The Celtics had control of the ball again following Rondo's steal from Douglas. Pierce drove to the hoop and found an open Garnett under the basket, who completed the play with a slam for a 92-91 Boston lead with 1:14 to go.

Jeffries grabbed a big offensive rebound off Roger Mason's missed three- pointer. Following a timeout, Mason missed a driving layup before pulling down his own rebound. Jeffries then drove to the hoop and made his way around Garnett for a layup.

Down by one, 93-92, Garnett called for the ball in the post and made the go- ahead basket with 13.3 seconds left.

The Knicks trailed by 10, 23-13, late in the first quarter, but closed the period out on an 8-0 run. Anthony's three-point play cut New York's deficit to 23-21 after 12 minutes.

A tight second frame featured five lead changes and six ties. The Knicks took a 45-44 edge into the locker room.

New York remained optimistic that Stoudemire could return in the second half. But Shawne Williams started for the injured forward to start the third. The Knicks were able to keep it close until late in the frame, when the team announced that Stoudemire would not return.

Holding a 62-61 edge with under five minutes to go, Boston went on a 12-2 surge. Allen made a three-pointer to spark the burst, which Pierce capped with a pair of jumpers for a 74-63 margin.

Anthony then showed why New York traded for him. He made a jumper and connected on a pair of free throws to get his team within 74-67 heading to the fourth.

New York's first seven points of the fourth were scored by Anthony. Ronny Turiaf's layup and Anthony's jumper gave the Knicks a 78-76 lead with 7:54 to play.

Rondo, who was the star for the Celtics, stopped the bleeding with a pair of layups to set up the wild finish.

Game Notes

This playoff rivalry dates back to 1950-51...Boston was without center Shaquille O'Neal, who missed all but five minutes of the last 34 regular season games with Achilles and calf injuries...The sixth-seeded Knicks are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004...Anthony went 14-of-30 from the field...New York outrebounded Boston, 53-37.