Saturday, December 13, 2014

Knicks 101 - Celtics 95: Anthony, Knicks snap 10-game losing streak

Photo: Mark L. Baer (USA TODAY)
Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks entered TD Garden last night desperate for a win.

Anthony, who suffered a knee injury earlier this week, decided less than two hours before tip-off that he was going to play. He scored 22 points, leading the Knicks to a comfortable 101-95 win.

Amar'e Stoudemire contributed 20 points, 7 rebounds and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points off the bench.

The Knicks shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and never game up a lead. The only time New York was behind in this game came in the first quarter when they were down 4-0.

"It's always hard when you're climbing uphill, then you get that one game like today. It's kind of a relief," Anthony said. "It gives you a chance to feel what winning a basketball game is like."
Must be nice, Melo.

The Celtics dropped their third straight against a team that hasn't won a game in nearly three weeks. It's not easy to beat a team that's shooting 50 percent from the field but the Celtics were unable to regain a lead or even tie the game throughout 48 minutes. Celtics were close to tying the game in the opening minute of the fourth quarter when Marcus Thornton (13 points) knocked down a three-pointer, cutting their deficit to just two points.

The Knicks then responded with an 11-0 run. They eventually went up 15 halfway through the fourth quarter, their biggest lead of the game.

Jeff Green continued his hot streak, scoring a game-high 28 points and Tyler Zeller chipped in 19 points, 6 rebounds. And Evan Turner, who was in the starting lineup in place of Avery Bradley (flu-like symptoms), scored 13 points. The rest of the starting lineup?

Eh, it wasn't pretty. Rajon Rondo scored a measly 2 points and Jared Sullinger scored just as many points as everyone in the crowd at TD Garden; nothing.

Green expressed his frustration after the game.

"I want to win," Green said. "That's what I'm frustrated about. I know we have the pieces here."
Celtics struggled to put together runs. Although Rondo only had 2 points, he dished out 10 assists to go with his 7 rebounds. But the Celtics shot 43 percent from the floor and only made 7-of-22 from three.
"In basketball, at this level or any, the minute you feel sorry for yourself, it's going to snowball on you," coach Brad Stevens said. "You have to earn things, you have to go out and do them, and the next one is an opportunity, and we have to seize that. But if we don't play well, we won't."
When the Celtics started the season 4-11, you couldn't blame them. The C's lost close games against some of the league's best teams but couldn't keep their intensity up in the fourth quarter. That's understandable against championship contenders. But in this case, giving up an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter against the 5-20 Knicks is inexcusable.

Celtics are one of the league's best when it comes to scoring.

This month's schedule is full of teams that will be in contention for a top lottery pick in next summer's NBA Draft. If the Celtics want to separate themselves from that group, they need to start playing like a team who wants to contend for a playoff spot.

The Celtics light December schedule continues Monday night at Philadelphia when they take on the 76ers (2-20).

Game Notes:

Marcus Smart was forced to leave last night's game early after he drew a charge on Knicks guard Shane Larkin and suffered from an Achilles strain.

Despite Sullinger's ugly outing, the Celtics still managed to score 48 points in the paint.

Josue Pavon

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