BOSTON (AP) -- Delonte West watched the ball bouncing off the
court, confident that it would remain in the Celtics' possession.
When he saw Stephon Marbury coming off his man and toward the ball,
though, West changed his plans.
Drawing the defender to him, West touch-passed the ball to Ricky
Davis in the corner for the open 3-pointer. It was the key basket
in a 9-0 overtime run that helped Boston beat New York 114-100 in
the season opener and spoil Larry Brown's debut as Knicks coach.
"I guess it was good recognition on my part," West said
Wednesday night. "But it was an even better shot by Ricky."
Davis scored nine of his 27 points in overtime, and Paul Pierce
had 30 points and 12 rebounds for the defending Atlantic Division
champions. West had 14 points to go with his career highs of nine
rebounds, nine assists and four blocked shots.
"That's what makes Delonte a good player," Celtics coach Doc
Rivers said. "He does make a lot of little plays, the blocked
shots, the loose balls, getting the deflections."
Stephon Marbury scored 22 and Eddy Curry had 19 points and eight
rebounds in his first game since learning of a heart problem that
led to his trade to New York. Antonio Davis hit a short fade-away
jumper with 2.6 seconds left in regulation to tie it 94-all.
Ricky Davis made a 10-footer to put Boston up 98-96 in overtime,
then Mark Blount hit a pair of free throws to give him 19 points.
West and Davis connected to make it 103-96 with 2:55 left.
"Stephon makes a great hustle play, and Ricky hits a
3-pointer," Brown said.
Pierce had just four points in the second half, and just one in
the fourth quarter. He missed one of two free throws with 16
seconds left in regulation, leaving Boston up 94-92 before Antonio
But Pierce snapped out of it in overtime, and Ricky Davis also
came on late for Boston.
After Marbury was called for an offensive foul, Pierce leaned
into Matt Barnes to draw a shooting foul and made both free throws.
Next time down, Pierce put a 3-point attempt from the left side
over the rim, where Davis grabbed it and shot it back in for a
Marbury scored from the lane, then Blount hit his free throws to
make it 100-96. Boston then scored the next nine points.
"When we finished regulation, the emotions were high. But then
we came unglued," said Curry, who was traded to New York in the
offseason when the Chicago Bulls demanded he take a DNA test. "It
was a lot of buildup to this point. I wanted to get this first game
over with and now I'm looking forward to playing my first in the
[Madison Square] Garden."
Curry hadn't played since March 28, two days before an irregular
heartbeat put him on the Chicago Bulls' bench for the last 13 games
of the regular season and the playoffs. When one specialist
suggested a DNA test to rule out a serious heart problem, Curry
refused and he was traded to the Knicks.
The Knicks tied for last in the division and missed the playoffs
for the third time in four years. That's when basketball boss Isiah
Thomas went after Brown, the former Detroit coach who signed a
four-year deal worth at least $8 million a year.
The Celtics went 45-37 last season to win the most tightly
contested -- and most mediocre -- division in the NBA. They were
eliminated in the first round by the Indiana Pacers in seven games.
The Knicks led by as many as six points in the first quarter and
were ahead 39-31 midway through the second.
Pierce's 24 foul shots were a career high. ... Brown and
Thomas are the only coach-GM Hall of Fame combo in the NBA. ... It
was the first overtime in a Celtics opener since Nov. 4, 1988.