The New York Knicks, Atlantic Division champions and No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, dropped their first regular-season game against the Boston Celtics before winning the final three against their eventual first-round opponent in the NBA playoffs.
Boston won the first meeting 102-96, which was most notable because of this altercation:
After that game, Anthony waited for Kevin Garnett at the Celtics' team bus at Madison Square Garden, moments after yelling for Garnett to come out of the Celtics' locker room. Anthony was suspended one game. At the time the prevailing thought was that the altercation would weigh heavily on the rest of the season series, but that has not been true to date.
New York held on to win the second game, 89-86, on Jan. 24, for its win in Boston since 2006. Rajon Rondo had a triple-double that night (in what turned out to be his second-to-last game of the season before tearing his ACL), but Anthony's 28 points and nine boards were enough for the Celtics to eke out the road win.
As the season series went on, New York continued to improve and leverage its improvement against the Celtics. The third game of four in the regular-season series went a lot like this:
That was J.R. Smith, who finished that game with 32 points off the bench on 13-of-24 shooting (though that was his only made 3-pointer; he was 1-of-3 from beyond the arc). The Knicks' offense was at its that day--March 26--when Anthony took 30 shots, Smith took 24, and the rest of the Knicks was 16-of-36. The win was New York's fifth in a row in what would become a 13-game win streak, and the loss guaranteed that the Celtics would not win the Atlantic Division for the sixth-straight time. Boston had 19 turnovers in the game.
New York zapped the Celtics from long range in the regular-season series' finale, a Knicks 108-89 win on March 31 in which New York was 14-of-27 from 3-point range. Garnett missed that game with an injured left ankle. It was Boston's eighth-straight win. Chris Copeland had 22 points off the bench for the Knicks, and Anthony had 24 points and 10 boards.