Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 113, Knicks 96

Ford Keys to the Game

Celtics 113, Knicks 96

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

MSG

Here's a shot of the opening tip as Game 3 got underway at MSG Friday night. This was the last time the Knicks weren't trailing the Celtics that night.
NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

Whenever you blow a team out, there’s usually a breaking point where the game goes from competitive to out of reach. On Friday night, that key moment might have been the first three minutes of the ballgame, when the Celtics jumped out to a 9-0 lead before most fans had even taken their seats.

Paul Pierce, who always seems to play well at Madison Square Garden and had a memorable game-winner here back in January, was up to his old tricks right off the bat, scoring seven of those first nine points and 14 of his 38 in the first period to silence the first MSG playoff crowd since April 25, 2004.

“[I’m] definitely happy with the way we played start to finish,” Pierce said. “Tonight we were able to take the crowd out early and the defense settled in. Better four quarter effort by us today.”

Pierce had his total offensive game working Friday, scoring on everything from 3-point bombs to floaters in the lane, and everything in between.

Meanwhile, Ray Allen got cooking in the second quarter, and had 16 of his 32 in the first half, with 24 of his points coming on the eight 3-pointers he drilled on the night.

Key Box Score Line

Rajon Rondo had another strong game, as he orchestrated the Celtics offense to near perfection once the team shook its turnover problem in the second half. His 20 assists came in just under 41 minutes of playing time, and the triple-double was impressive considering he shot just 5-for-13, but found a way to control the game anyway.

Also noteworthy in his box score line? His game-high six offensive rebounds.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Troy Murphy and Von Wafer each got in for 3:03 of garbage time and each player logged a rebound.
  • Kevin Garnett had a near-double-double, posting nine points and 12 rebounds.
  • Amar'e Stoudemire scored only seven points in 32:49 of play. He was 2-for-8 from the field.
  • Delonte West played 13:46 and went 0-for-2 from the field.
  • The Celtics bench contributed just 13 points on 5-for-17 shooting.
  • The Knicks bench outscored its starting unit 52-44.
  • The Celtics shot 58% from the field in the second half.
  • Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 14 3-pointers; no other Celtics hit a shot from beyond the arc.
  • Ball movement was special tonight as the Celtics logged 31 assists as a team.
  • Boston produced 12 steals.

Quote of the Night

Paul Pierce: "We looked at the halftime (score) and we were only up eight. Coach said we should have been up 15, 20, because we turned the ball over. We were on pace for 30 turnovers and you can't do that in the playoffs."