BOSTON -- The game was billed as the highly anticipated rematch of Cereal Gate.
The Boston Celtics versus the New York Knicks, less than three weeks after Carmelo Anthony was suspended one game for confronting Kevin Garnett following Garnett's reported comments about well, you've heard it by now.
Celtics fans mulled the possibility of another heated incident between Garnett and Anthony. At some point, they'd get tangled up and have to be separated, right? Not the case.
Following the Knicks 89-86 win over the Celtics, Anthony squashed any talk of a bitter rivalry between him and Garnett. He even helped Garnett up off the floor following a foul.
"There's no grudges between myself and KG," Anthony said. "Whatever happened, it happened. We spoke about that and it's over with. I dont hold grudges or anything like that. He fell, I helped him up. I dont have anything against a guy like that.
Just as some fans expected a tough battle between the two Eastern Conference All-Star starters, the Knicks also anticipated a very vocal response from the crowd. They knew the passion of the Celtics home crowd and walked into the TD Garden awaiting to be booed and jeered during the game.
"It was kind of quiet today," said Anthony. "I was expecting the boos and real hostile environment tonight, but it was cool for the most part."
Amar'e Stoudemire, who said the Knicks biggest adjustment was not "get(ting) into a physical altercation out there," praised the Celtics crowd for how they reacted toward the opponent.
"It wasn't bad at all," he said. "I was thinking the crowd was going to be a little more rude, if I could say. But they (weren't). They cheered their team on very well, but it wasn't as bad as I thought."
So Anthony said he does not hold a grudge against Garnett and the Celtics crowd kept their cool. But don't worry, neither of these teams are about to lose their competitive edge against one another. The next time they face off on March 26 in Boston, the battle will still be heated.
"Any time you play these guys, it's going to be a high intensity game," said Stoudemire. "This is a divisional rivalry, so it's going to be physical altercations, it's going to be a high uptempo game, it's going to be very, very physical and competitive."