Kevin Garnett  and Carmelo Anthony barked at each other throughout Monday night’s 102-96 Celtics  victory against the rival Knicks, and for once KG didn’t appear to be the instigator. Instead, Anthony pushed and prodded Garnett every chance he got, stormed through the visiting tunnel towards the Celtics locker room after the game and eventually waited by the C’s team bus to confront his fellow All-Star.
Between the whistles, the referees did a poor job controlling the escalating feud. On the play preceding their double technicals, Garnett and Anthony exchange shoves for what seems like a lifetime directly in front of referee Violet Palmer, and as my wife said upon her first Dick Bavetta sighting, “Is he even alive?”
As Anthony’s Knicks teammate Marcus Camby  said of Garnett , “He talks a lot, but that’s pretty much to pump himself up. He’s been doing that so long that it’s amazing how guys still succumb to it.”
In the aftermath of the C’s third straight win, Anthony walks deliberately toward the Celtics locker room, ignoring advice to the contrary from Tyson Chandler , Kurt Thomas  and Rasheed Wallace . I mean, when Rasheed Wallace advises against doing something stupid, it’s probably not a good idea. Anthony, who finished just 6-for-26 from the floor, reportedly shouted for Garnett outside the locker room to no avail. Speculation has Anthony reportedly taking umbrage with a comment  KG may have made about his wife Alani “La La” Vasquez .
A fully dressed Anthony waited relatively calmly in a Madison Square Garden concourse as a host of suited and uniformed mediators stood between him and the C’s team bus. Meanwhile, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo , himself suspended Wednesday night by the NBA for bumping a referee against the Hawks  a few nights earlier, meandered toward the entrance to the bus, turned to Anthony and began a staring contest.
Eventually, Garden security officials, five of New York’s finest and Knicks coach Mike Woodson  eventually saved Anthony  from a potential confrontation and any further penalty, which will likely include suspension. A New York Daily News source claimed Anthony’s postgame presence surprised Garnett, who “acted as a peacemaker” as C’s security personnel led him onto the bus. Imagine that. Kevin Garnett: Peacemaker.
‘We weren’t going to let him come in here and say and do whatever he wanted,’ Amare Stoudemire said of Garnett , who amassed 19 points and 10 rebounds in victory. ‘It was a lot of talk all night. Boston is known for talking. Carmelo didn’t back down at all, and that’s expected between the Knicks and the Celtics.’
Added Stoudemire: ‘Words can be pretty sharp. When you say certain things, it gets under your skin and gets you angry. It’s going to be a heck of a battle here on out.’ The Knicks (23-11) and Celtics (17-17) meet three more times during the regular season, starting Jan. 24 in Boston, and the C’s moved within a half-game of setting up a first-round battle between the two Atlantic Division rivals as the No. 2 and 7 seeds.