The first game of the 2011-12 NBA season and the first of four on Christmas Day did not disappoint. The New York Knicks, led by Carmelo Anthony, came back in the fourth quarter for a season-opening 106-104 victory.
Anthony scored 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a number of shots to keep the Knicks in the game late, and hit two free throws with 16 seconds left to finish the comeback. New York outscored Boston 27-17 in the final period.
Amar'e Stoudemire added 21 points for the Knicks, and Toney Douglas had 19 points.
Rajon Rondo, the subject of trade talk in the offseason, starred for the Celtics, with 31 points, 13 assists, and five steals. His great play made up for the absence of Paul Pierce, who sat with an injury.
Ray Allen and Brandon Bass each had 20 points for the Celtics, and Kevin Garnett, who missed a potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer, had 15 points.