BOSTON New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was a one-man show in carrying the Knicks past the Boston Celtics when the two met on Christmas Day.
And he did it with a slew of clutch baskets in the fourth quarter, with very little help-defense being offered up or provided by the Celtics players.
Boston didn't make the same mistake on Friday night, sending waves of defenders at Anthony in the fourth, which left him no choice but to pass to less-prolific scorers.
The Celtics' plan worked, as they held on for a 91-89 win and go two games over .500 (12-10) for the first time all season.
Anthony finished with a team-high 26 points, but only two of those points came in the fourth quarter.
"We didn't want a repeat of what happened last game," said Boston's Chris Wilcox, referring to how Anthony scored 17 of his game-high 37 points in the Knicks' 106-104 Christmas Day win. "We went and pressured him and got the ball out of his hands and make somebody else make plays."
Which for New York, was the problem.
Anthony, who is known for being a bit ball-hoggish from time to time - OK, a lot of the time - did exactly what he was supposed to do when facing a double and triple team - pass the ball.
"I told my teammates, 'Every time I catch it, the Celtics are sending two, three guys at me; just be open. I'll find you',"said Anthony, who missed four of his five fourth-quarter shots.
He found rookie Iman Shumpert open for an open 3-pointer with less than a minute to play.
Shumpert missed it . . . badly.
Anthony spotted Landry Fields open a few seconds later, and he, too, missed.
It was that kind of night for Anthony and the Knicks (8-15) who have now lost 11 of their last 13 games.
"The only thing I can do when someone double- or triple-teams me is to find the open man," he said. "That's what I did."
And his teammates responded just how the C's anticipated.
"It's important to learn, and apply your lessons," said Kevin Garnett. "Tonight we did a good job of controlling him, making other guys beat us; putting other guys in position to beat us. And they're not really in position to do that. They really key in on Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemireto lead them. When you control those two a little bit, you sort of control their team."