Knicks Survive Scare, Beat Celtics to Advance to 2nd Round For First Time Since 2000

Well, that was fun for … like seven minutes. The Knicks led the Celtics by 26 points early in the fourth quarter before Boston made it interesting, reeling off 17 straight points and pulling as close as four.

But the Celtics missed two open 3-pointers, and Carmelo Anthony (21 points) sank a dagger, as the Knicks got out of the first round for the first time in over a decade by winning game six and eliminating Boston, 88-80.

The above three-pointer by Melo snapped his personal 0-for-19 streak from behind the arc, and sapped the energy out of a frenzied TD Bank Garden.

The much-maligned Anthony has advanced beyond the first round for only the second time in his career. He only shot 7-of-23 Friday, but did collect seven rebounds and have five assists.

The Knicks will host the Pacers in game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday.

As for the Celtics, the story tomorrow will be the future of the franchise. Wither Pierce (4-of-18, five turnovers) and Garnett (15 points, 10 rebounds)? Boston will be able to build around Rajon Rondo and defensive menace Avery Bradley, and perhaps Jeff Green, but there are questions about the frontcourt and the bench.

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