BOSTON - Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett paced the Boston Celtics in the first half, scoring 15 and 13 points respectively, but the C's trail the New York Knicks, 55-49, at halftime of Friday night's contest at TD Garden.
Mickael Pietrus led the Celtics' bench with six points. Ray Allen had five points and Rajon Rondo, making his return from a right wrist injury, had one point and four assists in 19 minutes. Boston shot 46 percent from the field in the half.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 15 points as New York shot 46 percent from the floor. Tyson Chandler totaled 10 points and six rebounds while Amar'e Stoudemire totaled nine points to go along with six boards for New York.
The Celtics fell back into old habits to open the game, falling behind 11-5 early. Led by Kevin Garnett, who scored six points in the first six minutes, Boston rallied to tie the game at 13 all with 5:19 to play in the opening quarter. After the Knicks built a little momentum late in the quarter, the green rallied again to knot the game at 25. Jeremy Lin was fouled with 00.1 left on the clock and made two free throws, giving New York a 28-27 advantage after one quarter.
Boston got off to a very slow start in the second, scoring only five points through six minutes and trailed New York, 38-32. New York pulled away late in the quarter, but Pierce came alive to cut the deficit to six points lead heading into the break.