The Knicks held a double digit lead at halftime, but were unable to close the door on the Celtics. Ray Allen hit a game winning 3-pointer to give the Celtics a 1-0 series lead. Just as importantly, Chauncey Billups left the game late in the 4th quarter after injuring the same knee that had caused him to miss time late in the season.

Boston Celtics' Ray Allen celebrates after hitting the game winning 3-point shot as New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, left, stands in front of the bench during the fourth quarter of Boston's 87-85 win in Game 1 of a first-round NBA playoff basketball series in Boston on Sunday, April 17, 2011.

Associated Press

What Happened:

Amar’e Stoudemire put the team on his back, scoring 28 points and adding 11 rebounds while Carmelo Anthony chipped in with 15 points. ‘Melo was in foul trouble early in the game, limiting his playing time in the 1st half. Going into halftime, the Knicks led 51-39 and it looked as though the Knicks were ready for the upset.

The 3rd quarter bit the Knicks again though. It’s been their weak point all year, as they only were able to net 13 points in the 3rd quarter, allowing the Celtics to close the gap to five. The first half of the 4th quarter, both teams traded baskets, and the Celtics were able to take a brief two point lead before Amar’e made a 360 reverse layup, followed up by a posterizing dunk of Jermaine O’Neal.

From there though, the Knicks looked like a team lacking playoff experience. Chauncey Billups injured his knee driving to the basket with just under two minutes to play forcing Anthony Carter to run the point. With the game tied, Toney Douglas hit a three point shot to give the Knicks an 85-82 lead, but that would be the last points of the game for New York.

Inbounding from the front court, the Celtics inbounder hit Kevin Garnet for an alley-oop slam allowing the Celtics to cut the lead to one while taking little to no time off the clock. The Knicks were then hit with a questionable offensive foul, as Paul Pierce was holding Carmelo Anthony, and ‘Melo swung back his arm to get loose from Pierce. The official apparently only saw ‘Melo trying to get loose and it gave the Celtics the ball with 20 seconds remaining.

Ray Allen then became Ray Allen, hitting the what would be game winner with 11 seconds remaining. The Knicks had no time-outs and were forced to push the ball up the court. Carmelo Anthony’s three-point attempt was no good, and the Celtics survived game one of the series.

What I Liked:

– Amar’e Stoudemire: He was everything you could ask for. He hit 20 footers, he hit 10 footers, and he got to the basket. Boston really had no answer for him, and he’ll be ready to continue his dominance in game two.

-Ronny Turiaf: Turiaf played tough defense against Garnett, and had four blocks. Offensively, he contributed with nine points on 4-5 shooting.

-Bill Walker stepping up: Within two minutes, Carmelo Anthony found himself on the bench with two early fouls. Bill Walker came in and the Knicks didn’t miss a beat. He kept New York in the game, and hit two or three tough shots. The bench will be huge in this series, as the Celtics are an older team and can’t play the entire game. If the Knicks bench can outshine Boston’s they have a chance.

Game 2: Tuesday 7:00 pm.