NEW YORK — The Celtics were stricken with a second-half offensive drought for the second straight game Tuesday night. After scoring 25 points in the second half of Game 1 Saturday Boston managed just 23 points after halftime in Game 2. The Celtics were outscored, 32-11, in a dismal third quarter.
“We’ve got to do a better job of not allowing the pressure to get to us,” said forward Paul Pierce. “If we can hold them to 85 every night I like our chances, but we’ve got to be better offensively.”
Pierce has committed 11 combined turnovers in the two games. The Celtics as a whole were better in that category Tuesday night, but they struggled mightily to score in the second half. Jason Terry had 9 points at halftime and didn’t score after the break.
“I think they turned their pressure up and didn’t allow us to get into our offense,” said Terry. “We’ve got to do a much better job of maintaining our pace.”
Terry said the Celtics would try to play more up-tempo basketball at home in Game 3 Friday night.
“I like the way we defend,” said Pierce. “The Knicks score 100 points a game. We’re holding them to under 90 for two games. I’m happy with the way we’re defending. Melo is having his big games, we understand that. He’s a great player, he’s going to get his looks. Overall defensively we’re playing at the level we want to play at. If we’re able to turn the offense around a little bit I like our chances.”