Notebook: Knicks 89, Celtics 86



Posted Jan 25, 2013 12:21 AM

Brian Robb, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds as the New York Knicks overcame a triple-double from Rajon Rondo to defeat the Boston Celtics 89-86 at the TD Garden. Boston's All-Star point guard finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, but the remainder of the Celtics offense continued to struggle (40.8 percent shooting), leading to Boston's season-high fifth consecutive loss. The Knicks also benefited from a strong performance by Amar'e Stoudemire (15 points, nine rebounds) to build a 10-point fourth quarter lead, which was enough of a cushion to hold off the hosts down the stretch.

QUOTABLE: "There's no grudges between myself and KG. Whatever happened, happened. We spoke about that and it's over with. I don't hold anything against a guy like that."
-- Anthony on facing Kevin Garnett for first time since being suspended for confronting Garnett at Celtics team bus following January 7th matchup.

THE STAT: It was the first time the Knicks had won at the TD Garden since November 2006, as they had dropped their previous 13 games on the Celtics' home floor.

TURNING POINT: The Celtics had multiple chances to tie the game during the game's closing two minutes, but failed to get a shot off on each potential tying possession, as the Knicks forced Jason Terry and Paul Pierce to commit a turnover each time, eliminating any chance of a Celtics comeback.

QUOTABLE II: "I really liked the effort, I liked they way we competed tonight. Our offense definitely has to get better. There's nights where our offense is really letting us down when we put this type of effort on defense in."
-- Pierce.

HOT: Pierce -- The Celtics' small forward was left off the Eastern Conference All-Star team before the game, but managed to break out of a five-game slump with a red-hot second quarter in which he scored 15 of his 22 points on the night.

NOT: J.R. Smith -- New York's sixth man failed to provide his usual scoring spark off the bench, missing 13 of his 16 shot attempts on the night to finish with nine points, seven short of his season average of 16.7

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Rondo -- It was the 27th triple-double of Rondo's eight year NBA career. The Celtics dropped to 23-4 in games when Rondo finishes with a triple-double.

QUOTABLE III: "It was a total team effort. We were committed, fought for 48 minutes and it showed. We did the necessary things to ensure the win."
-- New York coach Mike Woodson.

ROOKIE WATCH: There was a sharp contrast in age for both rookies featured in this contest as the 20-year-old Jared Sullinger matched up against the 35-year-old Pablo Prigioni. Sullinger posted seven points and three rebounds for Boston, while Prigioni hit a pair of three-pointers for the Knicks and dished out four assists in the win.

NOTABLE: James White got the start at small forward over Chris Copeland. Iman Shumpert played a season-high 26 minutes, as his role continues to increase since his return from a torn ACL. The Celtics missed 11 straight shots in the first quarter. Tyson Chandler was elected as an All-Star reserve for the Eastern Conference before the game. The Knicks outscored the Celtics 16-0 in second chance points. Pierce scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half.

UP NEXT: For New York, Saturday @ Philadelphia, Sunday vs. Atlanta, Wednesday vs. Orlando. For Boston, Friday @ Atlanta, Sunday vs. Miami, Wednesday vs. Sacramento.