[QODLink]
American Sport
Knicks begin NBA season with win
Carmelo Anthony nails free throws with seconds left on the clock to beat Boston Celtics 106-104 in New York.
Last Modified: 25 Dec 2011 21:46
Locked in: Carmelo Anthony started the season with a bang as the Knicks beat the Celtics [EPA]

The National Basketball Association season got underway after a long lockout on Christmas Day, with the New York Knicks wrapping up a 106-104 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Carmelo Anthony was the top performer for New York, scoring 37 points as the Knicks ran out winners in an exciting opener to the shortened 66-game season.

Anthony's two free throws with 16.3 seconds left proved to be the game winners as Boston failed to score again, Marquis Daniels missing a three pointer from the side then Kevin Garnett missing a 16 footer at the buzzer.

The season was supposed to start last month but was almost cancelled because of a protracted labour dispute between players and team owners.

When they finally reached a new collective bargaining agreement, that was ratified on December 8, it was decided to start on Christmas Day, leaving teams just 17 days to get their rosters filled, get into brief training camps, have a couple of warm-ups and get ready for Sunday's openers.

But the wrangling and disputes seemed long forgotten as the two Eastern Conference teams took to the court at Madison Square Garden in front of a lively crowd that included singer Alicia Keys and former tennis champion John McEnroe.

The Knicks were fastest out of the blocks taking a 34-23 lead at the end of the first quarter and leaving Celtics head coach Doc Rivers fuming at his team, telling them they were “playing soft".  Boston trailed 62-52 at half-time but piled on 35 points in the third quarter to lead by eight heading into the last period.

The Celtics had won their last eight games against the Knicks but New York, bolstered by the addition of center Tyston Chandler, fought back this time.

Rajon Rondo was the top scorer for Boston with 31 points while Anthony scored 17 points in the last quarter for New York.

"We willed that win," said Anthony, who joined the Knicks from Denver in February.

"It wasn't easy, we knew it was going to be a battle. We got up early, Boston being the veteran team that they are, they came back and made some runs but we stuck with it and won it," he said.

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.