Rajon Rondo, right, was a late scratch from Sunday's game against Miami as the Boston All-Star point guard went to a hospital to have an MRI, which revealed he had a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony tied a franchise record with nine 3-pointers, then converted a go-ahead, three-point play with 12.5 seconds left to cap a 42-point night and lead the New York Knicks to a 106-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
The Hawks shot a season-high 60 percent from the field but had their three-game winning streak snapped when Josh Smith, burned on Anthony’s basket, missed a 3-pointer on Atlanta’s final possession.
Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith each had 18 points for the Knicks, who were 16 of 27 (59 percent) from 3-point range. Raymond Felton had 12 points and 10 assists in his second game back after a 10-game absence with a broken right pinky.
Jeff Teague scored 27 points for the Hawks. Smith added 20 and Al Horford had 16.
Anthony matched the Knicks’ record for 3-pointers held by John Starks, Latrell Sprewell (twice) and Toney Douglas. He also tied Richie Guerin’s franchise record with his 29th straight 20-point game.
His biggest basket came nowhere near the arc.
The Knicks came out of a timeout down by one and Anthony found Smith on him after he was played much of the final period by DeShawn Stevenson, a rugged defender who had frustrated him into a potentially costly technical foul. Anthony blew by Smith to the left, getting fouled as he laid the ball in.
The ensuing free throw made it 106-104 and Anthony nearly came up with a steal on Atlanta’s final possession, but the ball deflected out to Smith, who had a good look that was long.
A night after an ugly 97-80 loss, the Knicks had no problems on offense, though could never get much cushion against the speedy Hawks.
Anthony was poked in the eye by Stevenson with 1:51 left, and responded by angrily slamming the ball to the court, leaving the officials with no choice but to call the technical foul. Kyle Korver made the free throw to give Atlanta a 102-101 lead.
Anthony then missed a jumper, but Stoudemire was fouled and made two free throws. Horford scored on an alley-oop eight seconds later, setting the stage for Anthony’s final basket.
The All-Star forward finished 15 of 28 from the field and was 9 of 12 behind the arc in his fourth 40-point game this season.
Leading 27-25 after one, the Knicks ran off the first nine points of the second quarter, getting a pair of 3-pointers from Pablo Prigioni to open a 36-25 advantage. The Hawks wiped all of that away in about six minutes, but Anthony steadied the Knicks with three 3-pointers in the final 2:50 — pulling up for the final one from about 4 feet behind the line. It was 52-all at halftime.
Anthony then hit five 3s in a 17-point third quarter, his final one making it 82-74. The Knicks needed all his offense to build a lead, with the Hawks making 9 of 13 shots (69 percent) in the period.
NOTES: Knicks guard Jason Kidd sat out the second half. The Knicks said the 39-year-old was just being rested. … Because of Rajon Rondo’s torn ACL, he will need to be replaced on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, and Hawks coach Larry Drew hopes Commissioner David Stern looks at Smith or Horford. “No doubt about it. I think both of my guys have been overlooked,” Drew said. “It’s unfortunate what happened to Rondo, but certainly my guys should be in consideration. Strong consideration.” … The Knicks acknowledged Tyson Chandler’s All-Star selection during a first-half timeout. With Anthony voted to start, it’s the first time the Knicks have had two players picked since Allan Houston and Sprewell in 2001.
Celts top Heat 100-98 in 2 OT; Rondo out for year
BOSTON — A double-overtime victory against LeBron James and the defending NBA champions was difficult to celebrate for Paul Pierce and the Celtics.
News of Rajon Rondo’s season-ending knee injury spoiled the party.
“Everyone was really happy for the win,” Pierce said after Boston beat the Miami Heat 100-98 Sunday. “It brought a dark cloud in this room when you heard the news.”
When coach Doc Rivers told his players after the game, the joy of ending their six-game losing streak stopped, even if they had just outlasted the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference, which came in with a four-game winning streak.
Now the Celtics must try to keep winning without their leader, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee late in Friday night’s 123-112 loss, also in double overtime, in Atlanta.
They won Sunday after Pierce’s 22-foot jumper with 31 seconds left gave them a 99-98 lead.
But making the playoffs got harder as the Celtics try to hang on to the eighth and final postseason spot in the conference with a 2 1-2-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Obviously, the Rondo news is pretty tough. I knew it before the game,” Rivers said. “I just didn’t think it was any time to tell any of our guys.”
This game was the first in Boston for Ray Allen since he left the Celtics after five seasons and signed as a free agent with Miami. He scored 21 points.
Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Pierce added 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the Celtics.
Rondo’s injury “puts this team and the rest of the guys in a position to be ready to step up,” Pierce said. Sunday’s win “was a perfect example. We showed we are capable.”
James had 34 points for the Heat, whose winning streak stopped at four.
“As much as I’ve been a rival with Boston over the years, I never want to see anyone go down,” James said. “It’s terrible, not only for their team but for the league.”
After Pierce’s basket, James had a chance to put the Heat ahead but missed a 12-foot jumper with 6.8 seconds to go from the left with defender Jeff Green jumping out at him. Pierce got the rebound and was fouled by Shane Battier.
He sank the first shot. Then, as a fan shouted “This one’s for Rondo,” he missed the second.
Miami had one last chance, but Battier missed a long jumper at the buzzer.
“They defended that very well,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “There are about three different options to it, four different options to it. They defended each one of them.”
The Heat also could have won in the first overtime, but Dwyane Wade, who had 17 points, also missed a long jumper as the buzzer sounded. They had led 93-89 after consecutive baskets by James, but Garnett hit a layup with 1:45 remaining and a shot from the right baseline with 1:14 to go.
Boston could have avoided the first overtime when Pierce inbounded from behind his backboard with two seconds left to Jason Terry. But Terry’s shot from the top of the key was short. The Heat had tied it on a 3-pointer by James with seven seconds remaining in regulation after Allen missed a 3-pointer from the left corner with 15 seconds to go.
Rivers did not mention Rondo’s injury in his meeting with reporters about an hour before the game, but Courtney Lee started in his place. Doctors decided to keep Rondo out of the game after he went through his normal pregame routine but complained of pain that he thought was in his hamstring. An MRI was done and team physician Dr. Brian McKeon learned the results during the game.
Allen was part of the Big Three with Pierce and Garnett starting in 2007-08. In their first season together, Boston won its 17th NBA championship. He played against the Celtics once before this season, a 120-107 Heat win in Miami in the opener.
The crowd gave Allen a standing ovation when highlights of his career with the Celtics were shown on the video board above center court during a timeout with 5:33 left in the first quarter. At the Miami bench, he raised his left hand in recognition.
“When I saw it, just all those emotions came streaming back from all the great things we did here,” Allen said. “I’ll always be a Celtic in my mind.”
Allen entered the game about a minute after the tribute and was booed when he touched the ball. The boos came down again when he took two free throws — missing the first, making the second — three minutes into the second quarter.
Allen went back into the game with 30 seconds left in the first half with the score tied at 43 and made a layup with 16 seconds to go. But Pierce sank a driving layup with 4.3 seconds remaining to tie it 45-45 at halftime.
“What happened to Ray is never good for this franchise,” Pierce said, “but it wasn’t about Ray. It was about us playing the defending champs.”
It was Miami’s first game in Boston since it won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals behind James’ 45 points.
Early in the second half, James hit a pair of 3-pointers from the same spot on the left, putting the Heat in front 51-48. The Celtics rallied and led 64-61 with 1:49 remaining in the third quarter. But the Heat scored the last seven points of the period on a jumper by Norris Cole, a free throw by Allen and two 15-footers by James and led 68-64 going into the fourth.
Notes: James and Chris Bosh each had 16 rebounds for the Heat. The last time the Celtics played consecutive double-overtime games was on March 11 and 13, 1951.