NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and the New York Knicks used another hot start to extend their season-high winning streak to eight with a 108-89 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.
The win at Madison Square Garden moved the Knicks into a virtual tie for the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with the idle Indiana Pacers and gave them more momentum heading into their road matchup against the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
Chris Copeland added 22 points and Raymond Felton had 18 for the Knicks (46-26), who built another big halftime lead, including an unlikely buzzer-beater by Felton to end the second quarter, before cruising to the win in the second half. New York was again without injured center Tyson Chandler, but has managed to put together their season-best win streak without their All-Star center.
The Celtics (38-35), without their own talented center Kevin Garnett again, lost for the sixth time in their past eight games, but had won two straight.
Jeff Green scored 27 points to lead Boston while Paul Pierce had 24 and a season-high 15 rebounds.
The Knicks entered halftime with a double-digit lead for the sixth straight game, and punctuated their 65-48 with a mouth-dropping, crowd-pleasing buzzer-beater.
Felton nailed a 3-pointer from a little past halfcourt as the buzzer sounded, as the fans at the Garden gasped, then cheered and the Knicks point guard strutted after hitting the unlikely shot.
The shot capped an impressive half for Felton, who scored 12 at the break and shot 4 of 5 from the field, including 2 of 3 on his 3-pointers.
Green scored 10 points in the first quarter to keep the Celtics close, but New York went on a 22-8 run early in the second to build a 50-35 lead with 4:39 left before the half. Copeland scored nine points for the Knicks during the spurt, including back-to-back 3-pointers.
Anthony led the Knicks with 18 at the half while Green had 16 and Pierce 15 for the Celtics.
New York, which had watched 30-point leads reduced to single digits late in their last two wins, didn't allow the Celtics to get that close.
The Celtics opened the third quarter with a 14-8 run, fueled by a pair of 3-pointers by Pierce and five points from Green to close within 11, but New York expanded the lead again and entered the fourth quarter up 86-69.
The Knicks then finished the Celtics off in the final quarter as Garden fans began chanting their unflattering opinion of Boston to celebrate New York's third win over the Celtics in four games this season.
NOTES: Chandler was out for the 10th straight game due to a bulging disk in his neck. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Chandler was "improving" but still stressed caution in bringing him back, saying he was unsure if he could play in the Knicks' road game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Chandler, who ran some light drills before Sunday's game, told reporters he hoped to play Tuesday and that he felt as good as he has since the injury. ... Garnett missed his fifth straight game with inflammation in his left ankle, but made the trip to New York. Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters at shootaround Sunday morning Garnett was "feeling a lot better," and Boston expects him back early next week. ... After becoming the first Knick in at least 42 years to score 30 points or more off the bench in three straight games, Smith got off to a slow start Sunday. He scored three points in the first quarter, hitting 1 of 2 from the field.