In a spirited Tuesday night in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, three stars shined brightly to lead their teams to Game Two victories.

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points as the New York Knicks extended their series lead over the Boston Celtics to 2-0 with a big second half at Madison Square Garden, 87-71.

New York outscored Boston 45-23 in the second half after trailing by four at the half. Anthony was aided by Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith, who scored 19 points. The Knicks also had six blocks, five steals, and only 10 turnovers.

"For us, we know what type of team we are," Anthony said. "We know when we really buckle down on the defensive end, it's been hard for teams."

The series shifts to Boston for Game Three on Friday. 

Also in the East, the Miami Heat held off the Milwaukee Bucks behind Dwyane Wade’s 31 points on eight-for-14 shooting to take Game Two, 98-86.

The Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter with balanced scoring. Seven Miami players scored in the fourth quarter outscored Milwaukee, 30-21. LeBron James finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

"In the playoffs, you've got to find different ways to win," Wade said. "No matter what everybody says on the outside, (Milwaukee) is a good team. They played us very well."

The Bucks will look to cut into Miami’s series lead on Thursday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

In the West, the Golden State Warriors were able to steal a road game and without star big man David Lee to even the series with the Denver Nuggets, 131-117.

Stephen Curry hit 13 of his 23 shots for 30 points, and dished out 13 assists to lead Golden State. Lee will miss the rest of the playoffs with a hip injury, but it apparently didn’t demoralize the Warriors who shot an excellent 64.6 percent from the field.

The Nuggets will try to regain home-court advantage at Oracle Arena on Friday night.