Knicks At Celtics: New York Looking For 2-0 Start

(Sports Network) - Traditional Atlantic Division rivals renew their hostilities in Beantown Friday when the Boston Celtics play host to the New York Knicks at TD Garden.

It's been a Jekyll and Hyde start for the Celtics, who opened the season by beating LeBron James and the Miami Heat on Tuesday before losing to James' old club, the much-maligned Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

J.J. Hickson went 8-of-11 from the field for 21 points in that one, leading the new-look Cavs to a 95-87 victory over the defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs were playing for the first time since 2002 without two-time MVP James on the roster.

Rajon Rondo had 18 points and nine assists to lead the Celtics, who were unable to defeat Cleveland in the Cavs' season opener for the third straight season. Glen Davis contributed with 14 points, while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had 13 and 12 points, respectively, in defeat.

Kevin Garnett added nine points and 15 rebounds for Boston, which defeated Cleveland in the conference semifinals last season.

"I didn't like the way we played a lot of the game, honestly," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "I thought we were very loose on defense, very loose on offense. The turnovers -- 19 turnovers -- they're killing us, absolutely killing us."

The new-look Knicks, meanwhile, won their opener in Toronto on Wednesday when Amare Stoudemire scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as New York took down the Raptors, 98-93.

Stoudemire, a five-time All-Star, opted out of his contract with the Suns, with whom he had spent his entire eight-year tenure in the league, to join the Knicks in the offseason. He also had 10 rebounds on Wednesday night, but turned the ball over nine times.

Wilson Chandler added 22 points and eight rebounds off the bench for New York, which played its 5,000th regular-season game. Raymond Felton, who spent the first five years of his career with the Bobcats, chipped in 15 points, six boards and six assists.

"(Wilson) was very key," Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's been that player for a while. He was very good, and the reason we want him off the bench is not because he isn't good, but because we needed that fire power."

The Celtics have won seven straight over New York in Boston and 20 of their last 25 overall against the Knicks, who are aiming to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 1999-2000.

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