NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and nine rebounds in just 28 minutes, and the New York Knicks avenged an embarrassing home loss with a rout of their own, beating the Boston Celtics 114-88 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory.
Jeremy Tyler added a career-high 17 points and fellow reserve J.R. Smith also scored 17 for the Knicks, who lost by 41 last time the Celtics came to Madison Square Garden but led this one by 35. New York evened its record at 3-3 on its eight-game homestand, with games remaining against Cleveland on Thursday and Miami on Saturday.
New York is headed in the right direction again since ending a five-game losing streak Friday behind Anthony’s 62 points, and is only a half-game out of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot despite its 18-27 record
Jeff Green scored 14 points for the Celtics, who have lost three straight and six of seven. Rajon Rondo had seven points and five assists, shooting 3 of 13 in his sixth game of the season after returning from a torn ACL.
After finishing up their Super Bowl media day duties, the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson and Golden Tate, and Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker of Denver were part of the sellout crowd of 19,812.
Hopefully their game Sunday will be better than this clunker.
Boston jumped to a 12-0 lead in its 114-73 victory here on Dec. 8, when it handed New York its worst home loss in 11 years. But it never really got much better this season for the Celtics, who led the Atlantic Division at 10-12 after that victory but are 5-20 since.
It was all Knicks in this one, as they jumped to a 21-5 lead helped by the Celtics’ lack of execution (they missed 11 of their first 13 shots) and effort (6-foot-1 Raymond Felton grabbed an offensive rebound under the basket without even having to jump on one possession).
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points and Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks.
New York led 31-15 after one and opened a 45-20 bulge when Chandler threw down an alley-oop pass from Smith midway through the second. The Celtics then appeared they would get into the game, scoring 11 straight to cut it to 14, but the Knicks outscored them 18-6 the remainder of the half to take a 63-37 lead.
Boston then shot just 7 of 19 in the third quarter while New York’s lead grew to 78-43 on a pair of free throws by Hardaway with 5:24 to go.
The Knicks overcame the loss of Iman Shumpert to a sprained right shoulder just over 4 minutes into the game. Kenyon Martin left with a sprained left ankle in his first game after missing five games with the same injury, though the team said he was available to return.
New York also announced at halftime that reserve guard Beno Udrih was unavailable because of illness, but everyone else who was active scored. That included Metta World Peace, who played for the first time in a month after having a procedure on his left knee and made a 3-pointer.
And they gave a much-needed rest to Anthony, who leads the NBA in minutes per game with 39.2.
Notes: Jerryd Bayless was back for Boston after missing four games with a sprained left big toe. … Chris Johnson scored 12 points for the Celtics on the day he was signed to a second 10-day contract. He had averaged 10 points in his first four games since being signed from Rio Grande Valley of the NBA Development League. … There was a moment of silence before the game for Hall of Famer Tom Gola, an All-Star with the Knicks in the 1960s who died Sunday.