The Celtics took their last lead, 66-65, on a 3-pointer by Jeff Green with 2:22 left in the third quarter. Then Chandler put the Knicks ahead with a three-point play and they scored the last seven points of the period, taking a 72-66 lead.
"We gave them a 10-point lead (80-70)," Rondo said. "You're fighting back the entire fourth quarter."
The Knicks led 84-76 before the Celtics cut it to two on a basket by Garnett and two by Rondo. Amare Stoudemire's tip made it 86-82 with 3:24 left and the Celtics never caught up, even after Jason Kidd missed a 3-pointer for the Knicks with 14 seconds remaining.
Boston's last chance ended when Pierce lost the ball out of bounds as he was receiving a pass with 7.1 seconds left.
"The play was broken up and I tried to flash to the ball," he said. "Really (I) didn't get a good hand on it."
The Knicks' defense was solid most of the night.
"What we did defensively was great," Stoudemire said. "Garnett didn't score well. Paul didn't really have a huge game scoring."
But Celtics coach Doc Rivers was pleased with his team's effort.
"They know with that effort you're going to win most nights," he said.
The Knicks led 50-48 at halftime but trailed 60-59 with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter. Then they outscored the Celtics 13-6, with Anthony scoring six points.
The loss dropped the Celtics to 20-22.
"We're two games under .500," Pierce said. There's "still a lot of season left so we believe we can climb back in this division race."
For now, the Knicks (26-14) lead that by one game over Brooklyn.
"I expected more hostility from the crowd and it wasn't as bad as I thought," Stoudemire said. "It's a rivalry game and we want to go into the All-Star break with a nice division lead."
Notes: Chandler was chosen to the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Thursday, the first selection for last year's Defensive Player of the Year. Anthony, Garnett and Rondo were all voted to start, but East coaches passed on Pierce.