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Final: Celtics 96, Knicks 86

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  March 21, 2011 07:25 PM

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Final, Celtics 96-86: The Celtics end the game on a 10-0 run and finish this road trip 2-1 and keep up with the Chicago Bulls for the No. 1 seed. Celtics also ended game on a 23-4 run with stellar defense and some brutal interior play from Kevin Garnett, who finished with 24 points. Knicks shot 31 percent in the second half.

Fourth quarter, 2:35, Celtics 88-86: This is what makes games at the Garden great. The arena is at a fever pitch as the celtics went on a 17-4 run tot take an 86-82 lead and are fighting to hold off the game Knicks. Celtics ball. Kevin Garnett has 24 points and Paul Pierce turned on his offensive game and suddenly has 19.

Fourth quarter, 6:45, Knicks 82-78: Paul Pierce, who hadn't hit a 3-pointer in a week, cans one and the Celtics are on a 9-4 run to make it close. The 4 the Knicks scored was a 3-pointer and foul from Chauncey Billups, who bouyed Rajon Rondo into fouling him after the release.

Fourth quarter, 8:30, Knicks 78-69: Chauncey Billups hits a 3-pointer off a timeout and the Knicks respond with two free throws from Carmelo Anthony and a runner from Toney Douglas to go back up nine points. The Celtics may have one run left and they need to start now. Problem is, Kevin Garnett is the lone Celtic with his offensive game on. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are a combined 7 of 21 from the field.

Fourth quarter, 10:01, Knicks 71-69: Celtics defense has been stellar, forcing Carmelo Anthony into a jump shooter while Rajon Rondo seems over his slump. He is making plays. Ray Allen return to the game after taking an elbow from Jared Jeffries to the right side of his head, above the eye. Rondo has 11 points and nine assists.

End of third quarter, Knicks 69-63: A strong defensive quarter for the Celtics, who held the Knicks to 18 points on 7 of 19 from the field (36.8 percent). The Celtics are doubling Carmelo Anthony and forcing other Knicks to make plays. Kevin Garnett has 18 points for Boston.

Third quarter, 5:40, Knicks 58-49: The Celtics' defense is beginning to get the Knicks offense but the question is whether they will have enough offense to rally. Kevin Garnett has 18 points but no other Celtic is in double figures.

Halftime, Knicks 51-37: The defense is beginning to play better but the Celtics just finished a putrid offensive quarter where they were 4 of 17 from the field and scored 15 points. The Knicks are shooting 49 percent but have been more aggressive at the basket and Carmelo Anthony brought his A game with 17 points.

Second quarter, 2:02, Knicks 47-33: Celtics just can't make shots and the Knicks aren't playing great offensively but good enough to pull away. Boston is shooting 36 percent and no 3-pointers compared with four for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony is burning the Celtics with 15 points awhile Paul Pierce has eight.

Second quarter, 5:50, Knicks 37-25: Celtics go 4:55 without scoring and the Knicks are blazing hot as Roger Mason hits a 3-pointer that forces Doc Rivers to call a timeout. Celtics are shooting 36 percent and the duo of Jeff Green and Glen Davis are 2 of 9 from the field.

End of first quarter, Knicks, 25-22: Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony combine for 16 points and Chauncey Billups adds five as the Knicks make a late run to take the lead. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce each has six points.

First quarter, 5:57, Knicks, 16-12: Carmelo Anthony already has two fouls and the Celtics aren't playing great defense but they are not off to the slow starts of the past two games. Kevin Garnett has six points and the Knicks are shooting 60 percent.

First quarter, 9:20, Knicks, 5-4: Game is off to a fast start with Carmelo Anthony scoring all five points for New York and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce scoring hoops for the Celtics.

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