In what they considered a ''must-win'' game, the New York Knicks couldn't lose. Not the way they defended after halftime.
''We buckled down on the defensive end,'' Carmelo Anthony said, ''and that's what opened the game up for us.''
And they've done it two games in a row.
Anthony scored 34 points, Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith added 19, and New York took a 2-0 lead over the Boston Celtics with another dominant second half in an 87-71 victory Tuesday night.
Raymond Felton added 16 points for the Knicks, who used a 27-4 run spanning halftime to blow it open and move halfway to their first series victory since the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals. This is their first 2-0 lead since sweeping Toronto in the first round that year.
''For us, we know what type of team we are,'' Anthony said. ''We know when we really buckle down on the defensive end, it's been hard for teams.''
It's been brutally difficult for Boston.
Paul Pierce scored 18 points for the Celtics, who will host Ga...