Is Ray Allen the best clutch shooter in the league? No one is more dangerous, no one is more accurate late and no one steps it up like he does during the playoffs. Once again, Boston ran their patented back screen to get Jesus (24 points) a shot at the end of the game, and he nailed the three with 11 seconds remaining to put the Celtics up two. After Carmelo Anthony’s (15 points, 5-18 from the field) long three was short (a shot Barkley described as: “If you ain’t in the service, you ain’t no hero”), Boston had themselves a 1-0 series lead with a wild 87-85 win over New York. It’s been 10 years since the Knicks won a playoff game, and after Toney Douglas’ three with 37 seconds left put them up three, it seemed like the drought was finally over. But Boston countered, just as they did all night, and eventually found a way to win it. The Knicks led by as many as 12, and were in control of the game for most of the first three quarters, but down the stretch, it got tight … While Anthony struggled, Amar’e Stoudemire (28 points, 11 rebounds) was an absolute man. He had the shot of the day to put New York up five late, then followed that up with a dunk, packing it in Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal’s faces. The problem was that he didn’t touch the ball again. In fact, New York’s decision-making was terrible down the stretch. After Chauncey Billups left with an apparent knee injury, nearly every possession was a disaster. Still, if Stoudemire plays like that all series, New York will be in good shape because Anthony will come around … The same can be said for Boston’s O’Neal, who might’ve only had 12 points and four rebounds, but he had four blocks and helped fill a major void in the middle … There is no better duo in the league than Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Young, poised and willing to take over games down the stretch, the two of them combined for 72 points in probably the most exciting game of the weekend, a 107-103 win over Denver. Westbrook (31 points, seven assists) was an absolute monster in the first half, abusing Ty Lawson with pull-up jumpers. Two minutes into the second half, Russ already had 26 points. As long as Denver plans to play him with Lawson, he’s going to be a handful this whole series (they better hope Arron Afflalo comes back soon). Then, in the second half, it was Durant’s (41 points, 9 rebounds) turn, hitting rainbow threes during a third-quarter stretch that really put OKC in control. Late in the game, they took turns. Eventually, it was a couple of jumpers from Westbrook (one of them should’ve been offensive goaltending) that gave the Thunder just enough room to escape … Denver came out firing, hitting their first seven shots. Nene (22 points, 8 rebounds) was destroying Kendrick Perkins inside, dunking over the top of him two or three times. For the Nuggets, they had a lot of players make contributions. But it just wasn’t enough because no one could stop Russ & KD … Serge Ibaka told Wilson Chandler to get the $%^& out … We’re out like boredom.
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