Knicks defeat Celtics 85-78 in first-round playoff contest

New York, Apr 21 (EFE).- Forward Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's top scorer, once more stepped up and delivered 36 points to lead the New York Knicks to an 85-78 weekend win over the Boston Celtics in Madison Square Garden in the first game of the first Eastern Conference playoff round.

The best-of-seven series will pit the 54-28 Atlantic Division winners against the Boston squad, whom New York had divested of the division title they had won for five consecutive years.

During the regular season, the Knicks won three of the four games they played against the Celtics.

On Saturday night, Anthony hit on 13 of 29 shots from the field, including four of six triples, and he made all six free throws he attempted. He also snagged six rebounds.

His scoring was decisive in the fourth quarter when he tallied eight points and broke the Knicks' scoring record.

During the fourth period, the Knicks held the Boston team to just three baskets and eight points, the worst scoring performance the Celtics - coached by Doc Rivers - had ever had in a playoff game.

Meanwhile, J.R. Smith contributed 15 points off the Knicks' bench, and grabbed five rebounds, while starter Raymond Felton notched 13 more, contributed six assists, four rebounds and one blocked shot.

And Kenyon Martin, in a surprise performance, scored 10 points and captured nine rebounds in his 28 minutes of play.

For the Celtics, the players in double digits for the night were Jeff Green, who contributed 26 points, Paul Pierce with 21 points and guard Avery Bradley, who notched 15.

The second game in the series will be played Tuesday at Madison Square Garden and the third matchup will come on Friday at the TD Garden in Boston.