Steve Novak and J.R. Smith combined for 15 three-pointers and 50 points as the Knicks beat the Celtics 118-110.
The Celtics had some major issues with defensive rotations on the perimeter tonight and the Knicks killed them. NY shot a ridiculous 14-21 from 3 in the first half and 5-11 from 3 in the 2nd half.
Thanks to a vintage performance by Paul Pierce (43 points, 11-19 FG), the Celtics clawed back from a 21-point deficit. The lead was down to 6 with 2:48 remaining, but Novak drained a pair of back-breaking triples to seal the game.
Rajon Rondo (13 points, 13 assists) injured his lower back after hitting the court hard early in the 3rd quarter. He played 39 minutes, but looked extremely stiff late in the game. Pierce was also battered. He reinjured his toe and took a couple of shots to his right quad.
The Cs improved their perimeter defense in the 2nd half, but it opened up the paint. Tyson Chandler (20 points, 7 rebounds) went dunk crazy (5-5) in the 3rd quarter.
The Celtics bench contributed 2 points (Keyon Dooling). It's safe to say Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus would have helped. TNT's Craig Sager reported that Pietrus returned to Boston to have his knee drained and would likely miss Wednesday's game vs Orlando.
Carmelo Anthony (35 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) gets away with pushing off on just about every possession. Watch his off-hand. He's like a running back stiff-arming defenders. Oh yeah, he's a punk, too.