Anthony's 28 points lead Knicks over Celts, 89-86
Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (5) and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) meet at center court before the opening tip of their NBA basketball game in Boston, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON (AP) — Carmelo Anthony's ill feelings toward Kevin Garnett didn't last long. His streak of 20-point games goes on.
In their first meeting since a verbal clash led to Anthony's one-game suspension, New York's All-Star forward scored 28 points and the Knicks ended an 11-game losing streak in Boston with an 89-86 victory over the Celtics on Thursday night.
"No grudges between me and KG. Whatever happened, happened," Anthony said. "We spoke about it and it's over."
Did Garnett agree?
"Yeah," he said simply, then stood and walked out of the losing locker room.
Anthony scored at least 20 points for the 27th straight game, third most in franchise history behind Richie Guerin's 29 and Patrick Ewing's 28.
"He responded exactly like he was supposed to," Knicks center Tyson Chandler said. "The best way to get back is by getting a victory, especially in a place where we haven't won in a long time."
Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, his fourth triple-double of the season. Paul Pierce added 22 points. Garnett had only eight points but finished with a game-high 12 rebounds as Boston lost its fifth straight game.
Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce, center, threads past New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) and guard Iman Shumpert, left, on a drive to the basket during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
There were 17 lead changes in the game but none in the fourth quarter.
"When you need buckets, when the game is tight, you can't turn the ball over," Pierce said. "That's what we did down the stretch."
The Celtics trailed 86-84 after Rondo hit two free throws with 2:58 to play. Then J.R. Smith sank his only 3-pointer after missing five and Rondo made a short jumper with 40 seconds remaining. But Boston turned the ball over on two of its last three possessions.
Anthony was booed frequently but he showed no sign of hostility toward Garnett. At one point, Anthony even extended his hand to a fallen Garnett and helped the Celtic to his feet.
"He fell. I helped him up," Anthony said. "I don't hold anything against a guy like that."
The win came 17 days after they jawed at each other during Boston's 102-96 victory in New York. After that game, Anthony walked toward the Celtics locker room before security personnel stepped in and sent him back toward the Knicks' side.