Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 110, Knicks 118
Celtics 110, Knicks 118
The Boston Celtics have never seen a team as locked in as the New York Knicks were during the first half of tonight’s game. We’re not talking about this specific Boston Celtics team, either; we’re talking about every Celtics team that has ever walked onto a basketball court.
How can that statement be made with confidence? Because the Knicks tied an NBA first-half record tonight with a ridiculous 14 made 3-pointers.
It was an unreal event to watch unfold in Madison Square Garden. Any Knickerbocker who threw a shot up from behind the 3-point arc was destined for three more points on his stat sheet. New York shot 14-of-21 from downtown in the first half. It gave a white-hot shooting performance of 11-of-15 from beyond the arc in the second quarter alone.
The two main culprits in the incredible shooting display were J.R. Smith and Steve Novak, both of whom came off of the Knicks’ bench. Smith made seven of his nine 3-point attempts in the first half, while Novak shot 4-of-6 from long distance. Smith’s seven 3s in the half matched the output of Boston’s entire team.
Thanks to the unstoppable shooting, New York pulled ahead by as many as 21 points in the second quarter and took a 19-point lead into halftime. Although Boston outscored the Knicks in both the third and fourth quarters, New York’s 3-point shooting in the first half provided a lead that the Celtics simply couldn’t overcome.
Key Box Score Line
How do you get outshined on a night in which you drop 43 points in a nationally televised game? Just ask Paul Pierce. He knows the answer.
Pierce was fantastic for the Celtics tonight, but his opponent, Carmelo Anthony, was even better. New York’s superstar forward scored eight less points (35) than Pierce did, but he more than made up for the scoring difference by notching a triple-double. Anthony finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on the night.
Anthony started the game out with scoring on his mind, as he dropped 12 points in the first quarter alone. From that point on, however, he fed his teammates and attacked the glass to string together an impressive all around performance.
Everyone knows that Anthony is one of the toughest players to defend in the NBA. When his teammates are shooting the way they did tonight, it becomes nearly impossible to slow him down.
And that’s how you outshine 43 points by Pierce.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston's bench was outscored 57-2. Keyon Dooling accounted for the only points by Boston's reserves.
- Paul Pierce scored a game-high 43 points thanks to a 17-of-18 performance from the free-throw line.
- The Celtics grabbed a total of just 26 rebounds in the game.
- New York tied an NBA record for 3s made in a first half with 14.
- Two Knicks reserves, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak, scored 25 points apiece.
- Rajon Rondo recorded 13 points and 13 assists.
- Four Knicks players scored at least 20 points, led by Carmelo Anthony's 35.
- Anthony logged a triple-double of 35 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
- New York shot 19-of-32 from 3-point range on the night.
- The Celtics won both the third and fourth quarters but still lost by eight points.
- Kevin Garnett scored 20 points for the C's.
- Boston trailed by as many as 21 points in the game.
- Both teams scored seven points on the fast-break.
- Both teams scored 18 points off the other team's turnovers.
- New York's 40 points in the second quarter were just six less than it scored in the entire second half.
- Boston's bench totaled two points, four rebounds and one assist.
- There were only two blocked shots in the game, one each by Garnett and Pierce.
Quote of the Night
Doc Rivers on what his team can take from this game: "I told the guys this was a good lesson for us, don’t overreact to a great player. And I thought we did that."