With the memories of December 8th still fresh in their minds (a 41-point blowout loss), the New York Knicks (18-27) got their revenge by thrashing the Boston Celtics (15-32) 114-88. It may not have been a 41-point blowout, but a 26-point blowout will have to do. The Knicks led from the tip and never relinquished the lead -- by the end of the 1st quarter, the Knicks were already up 31-15.
In the 2nd quarter, Tyson Chandler provided a spark on offense with two monstrous dunks. On his first dunk, J.R. Smith was handling the ball in the corner, went behind his back, then tossed it towards the rim for Chandler to finish -- that dunk energized the Garden crowd, and capped off a 14-5 run which gave the Knicks a 45-20 lead. Later, Smith found Chandler again for another alley-oop finish.
After Chandler’s dunk, the Celtics responded with an 11-0 run -- Green started the run by hitting two free throws and he ended the run with a 3-pointer from the elbow. Tim Hardaway Jr. stopped the run by hitting a three from the corner, and the Knicks went on a 18-6 run to end the quarter. At halftime, the Knicks held a 63-37 lead.
The Knicks held the Celtics to only 32% shooting from the field. Carmelo Anthony had 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Chandler also contributed with 10 points. The Knicks shot 62% from the field.
It was more of the same in the 2nd half, and the Knicks strolled their way to victory. As the great Walt “Clyde” Frazier would say “good play is contagious,” and the Knicks definitely had that contagious play in this game. At 5:24, the Knicks held their largest lead at 35 (78-43) after two Tim Hardaway Jr. free throws.
After losing the first three games of the homestand, the Knicks have won their last three in a row. Currently, the Knicks are 3-3, and they finish the homestand with games against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday and the Miami Heat on Saturday -- the Knicks sit only a half-game out of the final playoff spot.
Key Stats: Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Tyson Chandler had a double-double, 12 points and 13 rebounds. Jeremy Tyler had 17 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. J.R. Smith had 17 points off the bench. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 16 points off the bench.
Jeff Green led the Celtics with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Chris Johnson had 12 points off the bench. Kris Humphries had 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. Jerryd Bayless had 10 points and 4 assists off the bench. Rajon Rondo finished with only 7 points and 5 assists.
Key Notes: Iman Shumpert suffered a bruised right shoulder injury in the 1st quarter and didn’t return. Kenyon Martin returned after missing five games and suffered a sprained left ankle injury in the 2nd quarter, he didn’t return. Amar’e Stoudemire is still out with a sprained left ankle. Andrea Bargnani is out indefinitely due to torn ligaments in his left elbow. Metta World Peace returned to action in the 4th quarter after missing a month due to injury.
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