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Healing through hoops; Knicks and Celtics united by tragedy

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NEW YORK (PIX11)-  “We as New Yorkers understand what you guys are going through, so once again we want to send our prayers out and our condolences, to the people, to the city of Boston, to the people of Boston as well,” said New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.

Two cities divided by sports rivalries, united by tragedy.

Just hours after the manhunt for the surviving Boston bomber ended, the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics battled on the hardwood in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

But not before taking a moment to show support for a city and country still trying to understand a horrible attack.

“I think it says that despite whatever rivalry you have when you’re playing sports, that when true life happens that everyone stops and supports each other even more,” says Knicks fan Monique Greene.

“I thought about the pains of 9/11 and our pains and we’re all pained as one, so it was pretty cool,” said Massachusetts resident Tito Garcia.

For some the game was a chance to look back on a terrifying and overwhelming week that started with an attack on another sporting event the Boston Marathon.

“It gives them a chance to cheer, to yell, to scream, to let all the emotions and anxieties out,” said Boston resident Rick Goralnick.

But others said they wouldn’t even give the attack or the attackers a second thought today, choosing instead to focus on returning to normal life as a symbol of strength.

“As soon as I hit the Garden all I’m thinking about is getting a hotdog, getting a ticket, jousting with some Knicks fans.  All I’m thinking about is sports, I’m not thinking about that guy.”

And Celtics and Knicks fans alike say the best way to support one another through sports is by respecting the rivalry and competing on the court.

“Well law enforcement took care of what they had to do, now the Knicks are going to take care of what they have to do,” said Knicks fan Darren Miller.