Walker, Garnett get into it after game

New York Knicks' Bill Walker is restrained after

New York Knicks' Bill Walker is restrained after an apparent shove by Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett. (Dec. 25, 2011) (Credit: AP)

There were several testy exchanges during Sunday's opener against the Celtics, none more so than in the immediate aftermath of the Knicks' 106-104 victory.

After Bill Walker contested Kevin Garnett's unsuccessful attempt to tie the score in the final seconds, the two former Celtics teammates exchanged harsh words.

Garnett then put his left hand on Walker's throat before the two were separated, first by injured Knicks guard Baron Davis.

"I guess he got mad that I contested his shot," said Walker, who had scrambled to cover Garnett after colliding with Tyson Chandler, who was supposed to be guarding the Celtic.

"He grabs my hand, tangles it up, I pulled my hand away and then we had a situation."

Did Walker do anything to provoke Garnett?

"I'm a grown man," he said. "You're putting your hands in my face . . . Come on. Y'all know what the man does."

Walker said he was unsure precisely where Garnett made contact with him. "I don't know where he caught me," he said. "I just know I saw his hand coming in my face, you know what I mean? That's disrespectful."

Garnett declined to discuss the incident with reporters.

Both coaches said they did not get a good look at the skirmish. The Celtics' Doc Rivers said he hopes Garnett will not face discipline from the NBA.

Parting shots

Amar'e Stoudemire bought breakfast for about 500 Garden employees before the game. He said workers, who rarely get chances to interact with players, showed up early for the event . . . Former Syracuse star Dwayne "Pearl'' Washington, who had some big moments in the Garden as a player, had another at halftime when his marriage proposal was shown on the scoreboard video screen. His girlfriend said yes. Washington turns 48 next week.

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