Ray Allen hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, Paul Pierce shut down Carmelo Anthony and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat the New York Knicks 87-85 in their playoff opener on Sunday night.
New York led 85-84 before Anthony was called for an offensive foul for pushing Pierce with 21 seconds remaining. Allen, who led the Celtics with 24 points, sank the decisive basket from beyond the left arc.
The Knicks then rushed downcourt and Anthony missed a long 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left. The superstar forward went 1 for 11 from the field in the second half.
Amare Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds for New York, and Anthony finished with 15.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is set for Tuesday night in Boston.
Pierce scored 18 points and Kevin Garnett added 15 points and 13 rebounds for Boston.
After Anthony's critical offensive foul, Rajon Rondo lined up to inbound the ball but called timeout. The next time, Allen inbounded from just in front of the half-court line on the right side. He threw the ball to Pierce, then circled to the other side of the court, caught Pierce's pass and fired up the deciding basket.