After blowing a big second-quarter lead, the Celtics fought back against the New York Knicks at the TD Garden to get a 90-86 win; their second against the Knicks in only five days.
The game got off to a great start, with Jared Sullinger continuing his abuse on Andrea Bargnani, and Carmelo Anthony managing to keep the Knicks from falling apart yet again. Anthony scored 10 in the first quarter while Sullinger and Courtney Lee (!) chipped in eight a piece.
In a game where Jordan Crawford struggled to produce his own shot (0-8), Courtney Lee really stepped his game up, hitting a couple of improbable buzzer-beating threes to help keep pace with Carmelo. Lee finished the game with 18 on 6-8 shooting. Not bad.
The Celtics got off to a hot start in the second quarter, as it looked like the Knicks we’re about to get routed again. The lead reached as high as 17 before the Knicks got a grasp on things. Approaching halftime, you could sense the momentum shifting.
And it did.
Much like my infant cousin learning to walk, the Celtics managed only a few steps before falling flat on their face in the third quarter. They were outscored 25-14, and Amar’e Stoudemire (equally grizzly as effective), reminded us all that once upon a time, he was actually a very good basketball player.
A note: the second half defense on Carmelo Anthony was fantastic, particularly Jeff Green’s. Anthony failed to produce anything substantial until his And-one late int he fourth. Credit to Brad Stevens for making the adjustments.
The fourth quarter was awesome to watch. Vitor Faverani hit a three that was the first spark of the comeback, and his presence on the boards helped jumpstart a lot of our late buckets. Even when he wasn’t getting the rebound, he was actively clearing the way for others.
An Avery Bradley three with 2:38 left in the game put the Celtics ahead for good, and a strong drive-and-score from Jeff Green helped seal the deal.
Kelly Olynyk made his return back after missing a few weeks with an ankle sprain. He had four points and four boards in 14 minutes, but committed three turnovers.
Courtney Lee! Man, I feel like we’ve been waiting for a game like this since he got here. 14 points and 3-3 from deep. Not to mention he got fouled on a fourth and hit all three free throws.
Sullinger’s first half: 17 points and six rebounds on 5-7 shooting.
Sullinger’s second half: Just two points, and he found himself in foul touble again, although some of those calls looked awfully tacky.
Jordan Crawford’s shot, which was completely MIA tonight. He did manage to make up for it with some pretty dimes (6), and limited himself to only one turnover.
A little bit of vintage Crash.
Courtney Lee deep 3
- Knicks shot only 5-21 from beyond the arc. Celtics sat slightly higher, at 7-21.
- Celtics out-rebounded the Knicks 42-38
- Pablo Prigioni took his first free-throws of the year…After 362 minutes of playing time
It seems like the schedule hasn’t really eased since November ended, and that’s because it’s hasn’t. That was a tough week of basketball, and the C’s fought hard every minute. Tonight’s game was a fun one, and now the Celtics get a chance to regroup for Kevin Love and the Timberwolves on Monday.
“That’s straight from Italy!” -Tommy Heinsohn, emphatically, on Pablo Prigioni’s flop