New York 94, Boston 87

NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (AP) -- The Big Three put up a big zero in the fourth quarter.

Zach Randolph scored 23 points, Nate Robinson added 20 and the New York Knicks shut out Boston's three stars in the final quarter of a 94-87 victory Monday night.

Paul Pierce scored 29 points, Kevin Garnett had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Ray Allen added 12 points for the Celtics, who lost their second straight preseason game after winning their first three. None of them scored in the fourth quarter. Allen shot just 3-for-13, hitting the side of the backboard on one late miss, and Garnett fouled out.

"They missed some shots,'' Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "Our guys challenged, but normally with those guys, Allen and Pierce and Garnett, no matter how hard you challenge, they're good enough to make shots.''

Allen and Garnett both played 9 minutes of the final quarter, one fewer than Pierce.

"We had a chance to have a preseason game that looks like a regular season game,'' Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "Down the stretch our execution was loose. Other than that, I hate losing the game but it was great. It was a great game for us.''

The Knicks avenged a 40-point loss in Boston and dominated the battle of the benches behind Robinson, who sparked a first-half spurt that gave New York the lead for good. And when the Celtics got close in the fourth quarter, he made a layup and 3-pointer in a span of about 40 seconds that pushed the lead back to 10 midway through the period.

The Celtics beat the Knicks 101-61 last Wednesday, with the New York shooting 26 percent and putting nobody in double figures. The Knicks hit 61 points this time just over three minutes into the third quarter.

"Last time we played them they beat us by 40,'' Randolph said. "So guys had a little chip on their shoulder and wanted to come out and play hard.''

The game got testy a couple of times. Allen landed hard after a foul by Jamal Crawford, hitting his elbow on the base of the backboard stanchion. The players came together and there was some grabbing - Pierce appeared to have his hand around Crawford's chin - but no punches were thrown and there were no technicals called.

"I just wanted to protect my player,'' Pierce said. "I thought he got a flagrant foul, got knocked into the camera, that's all. Just wanted to protect my guy. I just hope that if I get knocked down like that, my team has to come for me and I know they will. That's how we feel about one another.''

Robinson and Tony Allen got tangled in the fourth quarter, leading to technicals on Robinson and Eddie House.

"Just competing at a high level brings that out,'' Robinson said. "We're just out there having fun. Nobody likes to lose and it's competitive and we have fun out there playing and it's a high intensity game. And we came out on top.''

David Lee had 13 points and 14 rebounds and Stephon Marbury added 15 points for the Knicks.

Trailing by three late in the first quarter, the Knicks got a boost from Robinson. He made a jumper and found Lee for a bucket that gave New York a 29-28 lead after one, then he had three baskets and assisted on three others as the Knicks pushed the lead to 45-30 with 7:59 remaining in the half.

Most of that run came with Garnett and Pierce on the bench. The Knicks led 55-46 at halftime.

Pierce scored 18 points in the third quarter, when the Celtics went 13-of-16 from the foul line to cut the deficit to 77-72 heading to the fourth.


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