Thursday, March 13, 2014
Knicks 116 – Celtics 92: Rondo-less C’s lose to NY, drop two in a row
It was the worst home lost of the season for Boston, and their worst home defeat in seven years.
Anthony scored 19 of his 34 points in the first 24 minutes after hitting his first three 3-pointers four and a half minutes in to the first quarter. The Knicks jumped out to a 25-10 lead and they never looked back as they cruised past the Celtics.
“We got it going early,” said Anthony. “We shot the ball well early. Defensively, we had it clicking early. They made a few runs, but we finished the game out strong.”
Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 22 points off the bench, while J.R. Smith added 13 and Cole Aldrich in his first start chipped in with 12 and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Knicks who were without Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire. They are now three games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
New York shot 52-percent for the game, including going 11-for-19 from behind the arc.
“Because of their shooting all around, they were in a good rhythm,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “It started with Carmelo hitting those in isolation.”
The Knicks never trailed in this one as they lead 36-24 after the first 12 minutes. They made 9-of-10 3-point attempts in the first two quarters and had a 68-48 lead at halftime. A Jeff Green 3-pointer with 1:12 left in the third cut the lead down to 84-75. Two made free throws by Hardaway gave the Knicks a 10-point lead going into the fourth. Pablo Prigioni made a 3 to open up the final period and the Celtics never cut it back into single digits the rest of the way, as New York never let up.
“We got into a hole,” Green said. “They got an early start, gave them rhythm and it was hard to get them out of that rhythm.”
Celtics will look to try and spoil another team’s playoff chances as they face the ninth place Phoenix Suns on Friday night at the TD Garden. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM.
New York out-rebounded the Celtics 47-38, while the Knicks made 21-of-24 free throws to Boston’s 16-of-23 from the line. The Knickerbockers’ bench outscored the C’s bench 46-19 in a losing effort.