Globe NBA writer Gary Washburn says this win wasn’t a very
encouraging one if you consider the Celtics played such good defense on most of
the road trip. Also, Nate Robinson didn’t make a big splash in his debut, but Ray
Allen continues to stun people post-trade deadline. And maybe, just maybe the
Celtics will regret dealing away Bill Walker.
With the Celtics hosting the Knicks in their first home game since the All-Star break, it wasn’t about who was added to the equation, it was about what was missing from it. The team’s newest face, Nate Robinson, was in the TD Garden early, getting up shots, meeting teammates and the media. However, its old and faithful trademark – defense –made it to the gym a little late.
Final Celtics 110-106
Kevin Garnett hits the second of two free throws and Eddie House misses a 3-pointer in the final seconds and the Celtics hold on to an ugly win. Ray Allen finished with 24 points while Ray Allen scored 24.
Fourth quarter, 10,4, Celtics 109-106 (Celtics ball)
Tracy McGrady launches a 3-pointer that misses and the Celtics grab the rebound and Marquis Daniels was fouled. But the Knicks were under the foul limit so they need to foul again to force free throws.
Fourth quarter, 31.8, Celtics 109-106 (Knicks ball)
Ray Allen made perhaps a game-saving block on Wilson Chandler as Chandler streaked for a layup as the 24-second clock expired. The Celtics committed a turnover on the ensuing possession, giving New York the ball with perhaps four capable 3-point shooters on the floor.
Fourth quarter, 2:43, Celtics 107-106
The Celtics blow two chances to go up seven and the Knicks respond with consecutive buckets to slice the lead to one. David Lee has 28 points and 15 rebounds while Wilson Chandler has 18 and Sergio Rodriguez and Al Harrington each have 18.
Fourth quarter, 5:30, Celtics 105-102
Nate Robinson gives the C’s a 5-point lead with his second made basket but the Celtics can’t stop the Knicks from scoring. Wilson Chandler drops a jumper to cut the lead to three and the Knicks have the ball. It will go down to the final minutes.
Fourth quarter, 8:24, Celtics 97-96
The Celtics are playing with fire against a hot New York team and two former C’s with intentions on sticking it to their old team. The Knicks are 10 for 23 from the 3-point line and that’s why they are close. Rajon Rondo has 15 points and 14 assists for Boston.
End of third quarter, Celtics 94-91
Once again the Celtics struggle at home against an inferior opponent and it’s because they aren’t playing any defense. The Knicks, who scored 67 points last night against Milwaukee, yeah 67, have 91 through 3 quarters, which is a testament to Boston’s lack of defense. All five Boston starters have scored in double figures but the winner of this game will be the team that plays defense.
Third quarter, 2:52, Celtics 85-81
The Celtics still aren’t stopping the Knicks but the Knicks are doing little to stop the Celtics also. So we have a shootout. David Lee has 24 points in 28 minutes.
Third quarter, 5:45, Celtics 78-74
The Celtics are trading baskets with the Knicks and are holding a slight advantage after the Knicks made a 7-0 run to tie the game at 74. The Celtics have no answer for David Lee, who has 22 points and nine rebounds. Tracy McGrady has four points and seven assists. Ray Allen leads the Celtics with 20.
Halftime, Celtics 64-60
The Celtics are not playing any defense, evidence by New York’s 59 percent shooting in the first half and three players in double figures. Still, they led by four with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo have combined for 40 points.
Second quarter, 2:49, Celtics 53-52
Yeah, just like that the Knicks go on a 13-0 run and take the lead briefly. The Celtics stopped moving the ball on offense and then missed four or five layups while the Knicks swung the ball and get easy layups. This may not be the easy game that most expected.
Second quarter, 5:27, Celtics 51-41
Ten different Celtics have scored so far and Boston has made 20 of 36 field goals with just three turnovers. Ray Allen still leads the C’s with 13 points. The Knicks are trying to keep up but aren’t getting much from Tracy McGrady, who has zero points in 9 minutes.
Second quarter, 8:41, Celtics 46-36
The Celtics are holding on to their double-digit lead but their defense is hardly stopping the Knicks, who are shooting 58 percent. Nate Robinson dropped in his first Boston shot, a jumper from the baseline. Rajon Rondo already has 6 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.
End of first quarter, Celtics 38-27
The Celtics are having little trouble scoring, hitting 14 of 23 shots but Doc Rivers can’t be happy with the defensive effort, especially against David Lee, who has 12 points. Sergio Rodriguez has six points for New York. Ray Allen is continuing his resurgence with 13 points.
First quarter, 2:33, Celtics 29-21
The Celtics are playing solid offensive ball but the Knicks are 9 for 14 from the field and David Lee already has 10 points. Bill Walker made his return to Boston with a thundering dunk. Sometimes tells me the Celtics are going to regret trading him.
First quarter, 5:33, Celtics 21-11
The Celtics are 9 for 13 from the field and New York is not playing much defense. But neither are the Celtics against David Lee, who already has eight points. Meanwhile, a touching tribute to Eddie House during a timeout. House tried to ignore the video tribute but finally acknowledged the standing ovation.
The Celtics are set to play their first home game since Feb. 7. Marquis Daniels is in the starting linuep. Paul Pierce is out.
In his first meeting with the local scribe, Nate Robinson fielded questions — Marcus Landry had one tossed his way. Robinson told the story of how his agent, Aaron Goodwin, told him that the trade to the Celtics was a real possibility literally moments after he won the Slam Dunk Contest in Dallas.
It was right after the dunk contest. Like right after the dunk contest. And I’m like, “OK, well how real is it?” And then I didn’t hear from him for like a couple days and I became a Celtic. But Doc, he’s honest. He’s straightforward. And as a player that’s what you like, for a coach to always be honest with you and explain to you exactly what he wants you to do. And he’s all about winning. Each guy on the team is all about winning. And I’ve been a winner all my life and that’s something that I want to continue to be is a winner.
WELCOME TO THE GARDEN …
… where it feels like forever since we’ve said those words.
A lot’s changed since the Celtics were last seen on the parquet, falling to Orlando. For starters, they’ve won three of their first four games coming out of the All-Star break, winning ugly when they had to but winning nonetheless.
There’s also Kevin Garnett, who seems to be getting his bounce back, dropping double-digits in his last three games.
Then, well, there was that deal between tonight’s contestants that sent Eddie House, J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker to New York for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry.
House has donned the Knicks uniform, dropping 24 on Oklahoma City in his MSG debut. Robinson will make his Boston premiere tonight. He’s been in the gym while the Celtics were out West, but for the most part Robinson will be winging it.
Keep in mind these are same Knicks that KG daggered in November on an awful afternoon that ended with Garnett hitting a game winner that sparked a stretch that earned him Player of the Week.
The difference, however, is the addition of Tracy McGrady, who scored 26 points in his Knicks debut (the same night as House) but is already showing signs of the injury-prone T-Mac we’ve come to expect in the past few years, as the New York Post will attest.
Being the hustler that he is, Gary Washburn caught up with Nate Robinson last night at the premiere of HBO’s documentary on Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Robinson will meet the press in a few moments.