The New York Knicks almost blew it on Wednesday.
Instead, they walked away with a wild 138-134 win over the rival Boston Celtics to open their season at Madison Square Garden with a bang.
Celtics mount furious rally in final seconds of regulation
The Knicks appeared to have things wrapped up with a 112-106 lead with 29.3 seconds remaining in regulation. But the Celtics reeled off 10 points in the final half minute including seven in the final 11.5 seconds to force overtime at 116-116.
A scorching overtime session that saw the teams trade seven made 3-pointers wasn’t enough to settle things. A second overtime session started with a 128-128 tie. There, with both teams gassed, the Knicks made the final push of the night.
Evan Fournier hit a corner 3-pointer to give the Knicks a 136-134 lead with 56.1 seconds remaining. A Derrick Rose floater in traffic sealed the deal with 22.2 seconds left.
The effort was cause for celebration in New York coming off the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2013.
Jaylen Brown’s career high on heels of COVID case not enough
It spoiled a 46-point night from Jaylen Brown, who added nine rebounds and six assists to his career-high point tally in the losing effort. He did so equipped with an inhaler on the sideline after being sidelined with a case of COVID-19 that gave him difficulty breathing. Jayson Tatum added 20 points and 11 rebounds but struggled from the field on a 7-of-30 shooting night.
Picking up where he left off with last season’s breakout, Julius Randle led the Knicks with 35 points to go with nine assists and eight rebounds. Fournier’s late three put him at 32 points to go with six rebounds and four steals against his former team in his Knicks debut.
Kemba Walker had 10 points and eight rebounds in his first home game at Madison Square Garden while Mitchell Robinson muscled his way to 11 points and 17 rebounds.