Friday, January 27, 2023

Knicks 120, Celtics 117 [OT]: Knickerbockers outlast C's to hands them third straight loss

On a night where forward Jayson Tatum was named an All-Star starter, the Celtics came up just shy of a victory, falling 120-117 to the New York Knicks in overtime Thursday night at TD Garden.

Jaylen Brown was sent to the line with 7.1 seconds left in the extra session and the team down one, but ultimately missed both free throws to salt the game away for the Celtics. Brown had 22 points and nine rebounds on just 8-of-22 shooting, including going 1-of-8 from long distance.

Boston led 60-58 at the break, but due to a lethargic third quarter and first half of the fourth, they found themselves in a decent sized hole -- trailing by as many as 15. The Knicks were shooting just under 51% from the field heading into the final frame until the Celtics upped their defensive intensity, which proved key to their fourth quarter comeback. On account of the defense being picked up by the C's, the Knicks field goal percentage dropped to 45.8%. Evidently it was not enough however, as New York's stymieing defense limited the Celtics to shoot just 41% from the field for the game.

The Celtics lacked energy during much of the night, while the Knicks played with high energy for most if not all of Thursday's contest.
"We just can't take possessions or time in the game for granted and I did not think we played consistently the entire game, physical, connected, detailed basketball. When we turned it on we really did, and so we just have to do that all the time," Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla said during his postgame presser.
Tatum was the top performer for the Celtics, dropping 35 points on 12-of-26 from the floor while grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out four assists. The Celtics were down 102-89 with 8:00 left in regulation, before Derrick White (15 points) hit a corner 3-point to help start a 16-4 run. Once Tatum checked back in, he took over for Boston, continuing to drive and score around the rim at will to help knot it up at 110 and force overtime.

The Celtics jumped out to a 115-110 lead in OT but could not hold on after going cold, while giving up a 10-2 run to drop their third straight. Boston's offense fell apart in overtime due in large part to a lack of ball movement, perhaps a consequence of not having their starting point guard in Marcus Smart due to a right ankle injury.

Knicks forward Julius Randle led the way for New York, scoring 37 points on an efficient 13-of-25 shooting and snagged nine rebounds. Point guard Jalen Brunson also had a big night where he racked up 29 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. New York was also aided by their sixth man, Immanuel Quickley, who recorded 17 points off the bench, including 15 in the first half alone, as the visiting team improved to 27-23 on the season.

Celtics at 35-15, will look to snap their three game skid on Saturday night at home against longtime rival Los Angeles Lakers (23-26). ABC has the tip-off at 8:30 ET.

Game Notes:

Boston was 34.8% (16-of-46) from behind the 3-point arc and the Knicks connected on 34.2% (13-of-38) of their attempts from deep. The Celtics were out-rebounded 39-40 and outscored in the paint 48-42. New York only committed 10 turnovers to the C's 13, including seven in the second half and OT.

Eli Weisberger

Photo used courtesy of The Associated Press


  1. Love your descriptions. I feel like I’m on the court. Also I’m impressed with your varied verbs and adjectives