Ford Keys to the Game: Knicks 108, Celtics 89

Knicks 108, Celtics 89
By Marc D'Amico, March 31, 2013

Key Moment

Second-chance points propelled the Knicks to a win over the Celtics Tuesday night. The result was the same when those teams met again on Sunday, but New York used a barrage of 3-pointers to run away with the victory this time around.

The Knicks made 14 of their 27 3-point attempts in Sunday's contest as they downed the Celtics 108-89 at Madison Square Garden. The bulk of those 3-pointers were made in the first half, when New York shot an incredible 11-of-16 from behind the arc. Jason Kidd, who shot 1-of-3 from downtown in the first half, was the only Knicks player who missed more 3s than he attempted over the first 24 minutes.

Kidd didn’t need to worry about his performance because his teammates picked up the slack. Chris Copeland and Steve Novak each shot 2-for-2 from downtown in the first half, while Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton each hit two of their three attempts. Pablo Prigioni and Iman Shumpert rounded out the first-half bombardment with on 3-pointer apiece.

One particular 3-pointer that New York made in the first half was a shot to Boston’s heart and confidence. Jeff Green made a driving layup with 2.6 seconds left in the first half to cut New York’s lead to 62-48. Those 2.6 seconds left on the clock were just enough for Felton to throw up a running 3 from beyond half court. The shot banked off of the glass and fell through the net as the buzzer sounded to put New York on top by 17 points.

The first 10 3s of the night were brutal, but that one was the worst. It was an exclamation point that capped New York's incredible first-half shooting display that put Boston on its heels.

Key Box Score Line

The Knicks may have shined Sunday night, but they still didn’t have an answer for Paul Pierce. Pierce put together another impressive all around game during Boston’s disappointing loss.

The captain finished with 24 points on the night, which trailed only Jeff Green’s 27. He also reeled in a game-high 15 boards that included three at the offensive end. Pierce’s five assists were tied with Pablo Prigioni for the game’s highest individual total.

Boston usually wins when Pierce plays this well. Sunday night was the exception. He played fantastic basketball during his 32 minutes of action but it wasn’t enough to help the C’s come out on top.

Box Score Nuggets

  • No Knicks player scored more points than Paul Pierce (24) or Jeff Green (27), but the Celtics still lost.
  • J.R. Smith notched a double-double that consisted of 15 points and 12 rebounds.
  • Jason Kidd finished with the game's top plus/minus rating, at plus-25.
  • Green shot 10-of-14 from the field in the game.
  • Pierce's 15 rebounds were a game high.
  • New York shot 14-of-27 from 3-point range.
  • Chris Copeland scored 22 points off of the bench for New York.
  • New York scored 37 points in the second quarter alone.
  • The Knicks did not score a single fast break point in the game.
  • Pablo Prigioni and Pierce tied for the game high in assists with five apiece.
  • Pierce was the only Celtics player to grab more than four rebounds in the game.
  • New York shot better from 3-point range (51.9 percent) than 2-point range (46.7 percent).
  • Jordan Crawford and Courtney Lee each scored 10 points apiece off of Boston's bench.

Quote of the Night

I thought they had the spirit of the pass the entire night. I thought they did a great job, and it was anybody who (touched the ball).
Doc Rivers on New York's ball movement that led to 14 made 3s