5 Things To Know: The Knicks and Celtics Clash on Christmas
12:00 PM EST | Madison Square Garden
TV: MSG Network
Radio: ESPN NY 98.7 FM
5 Things To Know:
1. The Knicks secured their second consecutive win on Thursday night behind 19 points from Derrick Rose and an inspiring performance from the bench crew. Six players for New York registered double figures and the bench combined for 44 points, 15 assists, and 25 rebounds. Kyle O’Quinn was the catalyst off the pine with his a career performance on the glass (16 boards) to go along with 14 points in just 24 minutes of court time. Those numbers from O’Quinn is the most production by a Knick in that amount of court time since Patrick Ewing. New York moved to 16-13 on the season and the second best home record in the East at 11-4 when hosting games at Madison Square Garden.
2. Kristaps Porzingis suffered from a knee contusion in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s contest against the Magic. The big man says he felt some pain after the collision but he participated in part of Friday and Saturday’s practice and confirmed he should be ready for the Christmas Day game.
3. In the previous matchup between the two teams, Isaiah Thomas scored 23 of his 29 in the first half while the Celtics found success in a 115-87 home win. Anthony was ejected in the second quarter, leaving New York without its leading scorer for the remainder of the contest. Brandon Jennings was also tossed in the loss and the Knicks committed 25 turnovers in the loss. New York dropped to 3-5 following the defeat and the Celtics improved to 4-4. Since the meeting, the Knicks have been the better team by a slight margin with a 13-8 mark as opposed to Boston’s 13-9 record. The Celtics are currently in the third spot in the Eastern Conference while New York sits in fifth, just a half game behind Boston.
4. Russell Westbrok scored 45 points in the midst of racking up another triple-double and helping the Thunder dispatch Boston 117-112. Thomas scored 34 points and dished out 10 assists and Al Horford posted 23 points but the Celtics could not overcome a late run by the visiting team. Oklahoma City shot 51.3 percent from the floor and 42.3 percent behind the arc in the victory. Boston remains a top 10 team in offensive efficiency (9), net rating (10), assist/turnover ratio (2), and team turnover percentage (4).
5. From a historic standpoint, the Knicks have played more Christmas games than any other team in the NBA. Additionally, New York holds the record for most the most wins (22) and 41 Christmas Day games have been held at Madison Square Garden. Reflecting on some of the historic contests on December 25 will reveal the performance of Bernard King, who scored 60 points in 1984. Ewing dropped 34 points and grabbed 11 boards in a 25-point comeback win over the Celtics in double overtime at MSG in 1985. In 1986, Ewing nailed a buzzer-beater to deliver an 86-85 victory over Michael Jordan and the Bulls. To open the lockout season in 2011, Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points, Amar’e Stoudemire added 21, and the Knicks knocked off the Celtics 106-104.