There was joy again at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, a blend of holiday cheer, pent-up anticipation and the thrill of the N.B.A.’s belated return after a long, strange off-season. And then came anxiety, concern and a bit of nastiness before a final burst of merriment.

It ended with a 106-104 Knicks victory over the Boston Celtics, in the first N.B.A. game played since June.

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