Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Knicks 114 – Celtics 88: Knicks return the favor at MSG with 26 point win

New York – It was one of those days that Celtics wished they could do all over again.

Celtics, winners of only two games in the month of January, came into to Madison Square Garden after an emotional home loss on Sunday to the Brooklyn Nets, and let the Knicks have their way with them. Carmelo Anthony only needed 28 minutes to score 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help New York beat Boston 114-88.

It was just a month and a half ago when the Celtics had given the rival Knicks their third worst home lost in franchise history, a 41-point win in brutally fashion.

However on Tuesday night, the home team was on a mission as they entered the evening just one game behind the Pistons for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“Today’s game in particular, it was kind of personal, you know what I’m saying, the way they beat us the last time we played them [here in the Garden]” forward Kenyon Martin said.
“So we wanted a little get-back.”

Jeremy Tyler added a career-high 17 points while J.R. Smith also scored 17 for the Knicks off the bench, who are currently 3-3 in their last six games. Despite an 18-27 record, they look like they might finally be getting over the hump. Since Anthony’s 62 points on Friday night, the Knicks have won back-to-back games.

Jeff Green led the way for Boston, losers of three in a row and six of seven overall, he scored 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Rajon Rondo added seven points and five assists on 3-of-13 from the field.

The bench was the only solace for Stevens as Jerryd Bayless and Kris Humphries each contributed with 10 and 12 points. Chris Johnson, who just signed his second 10-day contract, also chipped in with 12 points off of 4-of-7 shooting from the floor.

“It was a good old-fashion butt kicking,” said coach Brad Stevens.

Boston jumped to a 12-0 lead in their 114-73 trashing the last time they were at MSG on December 8 and never looked back as they gave New York its worst home lost in 11 seasons. But since that faithful Sunday, the Atlantic Division leaders who were 10-12 at the time, have gone 5-20 since.

“We didn’t take anything away tonight,” Rondo said. “We pretty much gave them everything they wanted. They took away stuff from us but we didn’t take anything away from those guys.”

After the Celtics began the game missing their first 11-of-13 shots and playing poor defense, the Knicks took advantage and were up 21-5 in the opening minutes. By the end of the quarter New York were leading 31-15.

The lead only increased at the start of the second quarter after it was 45-20 on an alley-oop pass from Smith midway through the period. Boston cut the lead to 14 after scoring 11 straight points, but the Knicks kept the foot on the gas to finish the half on an 18-6 run that led to a 63-37 lead.

Not much changed in the third quarter or the rest of the game for New York, who were playing without Iman Shumpert, who sprained his right shoulder eight minutes into the first quarter and did not return. Martin sprained his left ankle in his first game back since missing five straight games with the same injury but was available to return to the game.

Boston once again shot below the 40 percent mark for the game (39%) and turned the ball over 17 times. It was one of the worst games from start to finish for this team, that's still searching for an identity now that Rondo is back. No one’s future is certain between now and the trading deadline - just less than a month away.

The Celtics are traveling back home to the TD Garden to take on the struggling 14-31 76ers, tip-off is at 7:30 PM.

Game Notes:
Jerryd Bayless returned to the lineup after missing four games with a sprained left big toe. Avery Bradley missed his fourth game as he continues to rest his right sprained ankle, he is still about a week away from a rejoining the team.

Joel Pavón

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