|Photo: Associated Press
The Celtics struggled offensively, committed too many turnovers and surrendered their first loss of the preseason to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, 101-95.
Knicks forward Derrick Williams continued his streak off good performances for the Knicks, he had 19 points and 5 rebounds. And Kyle O'Quinn put together a double-double; 13 points, 11 rebounds.
Isaiah Thomas had a solid night, he went 5-for-9 for 13 points and had 5 assists in his second start at point guard. Thomas was one of four players who scored in double digits. Tyler Zeller scored 12 points and Evan Turner scored 11, but the Celtics could never find the offensive rhythm they needed to catch up with the Knicks.
After a slow start, the Celtics responded with a 10-0 run in the first and finished the quarter by scoring 32 points. That turned out to be the best quarter of the night for the Celtics, as the Knicks buckled down on defense and only allowed 15 points in the second quarter.
Things got chippy in the third quarter when Knicks forward Kyle O'Quinn was called for a flagrant foul after sending Jared Sullinger to the floor. The two were very physical with each other in the paint, O'Quinn alongside Robin Lopez made it very tough for the C's to score in the post. Sullinger did however, finish the night with 10 rebounds.
The Knicks never gave up the lead in the second half. New York came close to giving up the lead late in the third quarter when the Celtics cut the lead to one, 73-74 but Derrick Williams knocked down a three-pointer and single-handily finished off a 6-0 run in the fourth quarter, giving the Knicks a 81-73 lead.
And then James Young and Sullinger took matter into their own hands. That's right, the two players that couldn't score much throughout the first three preseason games led a 7-2 fourth quarter run. Young scored 8 of his 10 points in the fourth and Sullinger scored his only field goal of the night to cut the Knicks lead to three, 83-80.
But after a back-and-fourth of runs between the two teams, the Knicks slammed the door on the Celtics when Derrick Williams and DaJuan Summer knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the final two minutes.
The Celtics return to TD Garden on Monday night where they'll take on the Brooklyn Nets in their first home game of the preseason.
The Celtics committed 18 turnovers last night, while the Knicks committed only 7. Although the Celtics shot nearly 40 percent from the field, the Knicks' defense forced the C's to make bad passes and take off-balanced shots.
James Young emerged in the fourth quarter and put together a good night offensively. He scored 10 points, went 3-for-4 from the field and 2-for-3 the three-point arc in 16 minutes. Seeing him score is always a good sign, and this was easily his best game of the preseason.