Fourth quarter, 6:47, Knicks 98, Celtics 94: After driving hard and landing awkwardly, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo left the game with 11:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. As action swung to the other end of the court, Rondo hung back on the defensive end, favoring his foot, eventually falling to the floor until teammates and trainers came to check on him. He had to be walked off the floor by Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, and trainer Ed Lacerte, who took him to the locker room. He was replaced by Von Wafer. He eventually returned.
It was Rondo’s first play after sitting out the final 5:30 of the third quarter. He turned the ball over, lobbing a pass high over Kevin Garnett’s outstretched arms and was visibly frustrated going back to the Celtics bench. Nate Robinson played the remained of the quarter. Rondo has missed four games this season dealing with hamstring and foot issues.
End of third quarter, Knicks 90, Celtics 83: Amar’e Stoudemire’s ninth straight 30-point game came with a bang in the form of a booming two-handed jam. The Knicks have control going into the fourth, and what’s likely frustrating the Celtics more than anything is that they’re sohoting 55.7 percent and still trailing by 7. The Knicks are shooting 52 percent and they’ve knocked down 8 of 20 3s. Rajon Rondo sat out the rest of the third quarter.
Third quarter, 5:30, Knicks 75, Celtics 67 When Danilo Gallinari drained the second of two three-pointers from in front of the Celtics bench, Rajon Rondo pounded the ball high off the baseline, angry. He then walked the ball up on offense and threw a pass high over the head and outstretched arms of Kevin Garnett (Boston’s 10th turnover of the night) and after a Knicks timeout, the Celtics sulked back to their bench, heads hanging in frustration. The Knicks have all the momentum. Rivers took Rondo out of the game, Rondo didn’t look happy about it at all, still barking at the bench once play resumed.
Halftime, Knicks 58, Celtics 51: It seems the Knicks have been hitting everything, especially from long range. They hit six 3-pointers in the first half and Raymond Felton banked a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 7-point lead. The Celtics are playing ragged and Amar’e Stoudemire is blazing with 23 points while Wilson Chandler added 14.
Second quarter, 8:38, Knicks 36, Celtics 34: A Ball Don’t Lie Moment. Ray Allen was whistled for fouling Danilo Gallinari behind the 3-point line — most of the contact was after the shot when Allen lost his balance. Gallo went to the line for three shots … and clanged each one of them. Same thing happened to Kobe Bryant last night and he scored 12 straight points, in the process of crushing the Wizards last night.
Second quarter, Knicks 36, Celtics 34: With Stoudemire off the floor to start the second quarter, the Celtics have been able to cut into the Knicks lead. Ray Allen joined the second unit (Nate Robinson, Glen Davis, Marquis Daniels and Semih Erden) amd sparked a 10-4 burst that’s made it a one-shot game. After a quiet first, Allen’s got all six of his points in the quarter.
First quarter, 1:53, Knicks 28, Celtics 20: First tense moment. at a deadball, Kevin Garnett and Ronny Turiaf were locked into a stare-down and had to be talked down by one of the officials. Turiaf walked back to his bench jawing some. Garnett left the floor with Semih Erden taking his place.
First quarter, 3:47, Knicks 24, Celtics 15: Odd sequence leads to an embarrassing moment for Kevin Garnett. Garnett hit an open Rajon Rondo on the break for what should have ended in an easy layup. But Rondo kicked it back out to Garnett about 20 feet from the rim. Garnett drove baseline and tried to throw it down two handed but missed. He cursed and hustled back down on defense.
Meanwhile, Amar’e Stoudemire’s officially hot. He drilled a long deuce on Glen Davis and went to the free throw line where he drew “MVP” chants from the MSG crowd. He’s got 15 points in the first quarter. Another 30 looks safe and secure at the moment.
Doc Rivers has a saying about the Celtics turning players on and then putting themselves in a position to have to somehow turn them off. With Stoudemire scorching, they’ll have to look for the extinguishers.
First quarter, 5:30, Knicks 19, Celtics 15 Amar’e Stoudemire’s scored 11 of the Knicks first 19 points, including a disgusting one-handed flush from the baseline. His matchup with Semih Erden will be an interesting one. Erden’s scored 4 points and grabbed a pair of rebounds. He didn’t see one Rajon Rondo pass coming, or else he’d have another bucket. On defense, though, he has his hands full. Stoudemire’s hit him with jab steps and head fakes already.