The Boston Celtics made a run at the start of Tuesday night’s third quarter, but the New York Knicks responded the way that great teams do. That’s why the Knicks are on the verge of an Atlantic Division title and the C’s are clinging to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
New York didn’t run Boston out of the Garden but its stretch over the final 4:39 of the third period gave the Knicks a stranglehold on the contest. The C’s had crawled to within seven points midway through the third but the Knicks responded with a 9-0 run to go back on top by 16.
J.R. Smith, who was unstoppable all night long for New York, tied the bow for the Knicks at the buzzer of that third frame. Just moments earlier, Jason Terry had given the C’s some momentum with a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third, but Smith then answered by draining a buzzer-beating 3 that popped the Knicks’ lead back up to 15.
Boston never sliced New York’s lead down to less than 12 points after Smith’s trey and the C’s wound up falling 100-85.
Key Box Score Line
Jeff Green’s name isn’t typically associated with the term “triple-double,” but it almost was on Tuesday night.
Green went off against the New York Knicks at TD Garden and tied or led the Celtics in all three major statistical categories. His 19 points were a team high and the most points he has scored since his 43-point outburst against Miami eight days ago. His 10 rebounds and his six assists both led the Celtics and doubled as personal season highs.
Doc Rivers said before Tuesday’s contest that Green “has been good and bad” as a starter. Rivers also said, “He’s had some great games, obviously, and he’s had some OK games.”
This one was one of Green’s better games. He pushed for a triple-double while setting new season highs in two major categories. When a player can do that, all while leading his team in scoring as well, he has put together one heck of a night.
Box Score Nuggets
- Five Knicks players grabbed at least five rebounds, led by Carmelo Anthony's eight.
- No Celtics player attempted more than 14 field goals.
- Both teams scored 16 points in the fourth quarter.
- J.R. Smith scored a game-high 32 points, while Carmelo Anthony wasn't far behind with 29.
- Paul Pierce and Jeff Green tied for the game high in assists with six apiece.
- Pierce also committed a game-high six turnovers.
- Green led the Celtics in points with 19 and in rebounds with 10.
- Anthony's 30 field goal attempts were more than double the amount from any individual Celtics player.
- The Celtics outshot the Knicks from the field (44.9 percent to 43.3 percent) and from 3-point range (30.0 percent to 28.6 percent) yet still lost.
- Boston committed 20 turnovers, while New York committed just eight.
- The Knicks scored 29 second-chance points and 50 points in the paint.
Quote of the Night
You know tonight, turnovers once again doing us in, lack of physicality, for the most part offensive rebounds. But this is the group we've got out there and this is the group we've gotta figure it out with. Paul Pierce on what hampered the Celtics Tuesday night