Final: Knicks 118-110: When Steve Novak and J.R. Smith combine for 50 points and 15 3-pointers, you know it’s going to be a long night. And the Celtics paid for their porous defensive first half despite Paul Pierce’s 43 points.
Fourth quarter, 3:00, Knicks 112-106: The Knicks are trying to hang but Paul Pierce has been magnificent with 43 points, including 31 in the second half.
Fourth quarter, 8:31, Knicks 103-92: Paul Pierce has the last 8 Celtics points and 37 for the game. He needs a couple of more baskets to make this interesting. The Knicks are shooting 61 percent but have just two 3-pointers in the second half after 14 in the first. Carmelo Anthony is two assists away from a triple double.
End of third quarter, Knicks 96-84: Paul Pierce scored 17 points in the quarter but he needs help if the Celtics are going to rally. The Knicks hit 14 3-pointers in the first half and one in the third quarter. But the Celtics can’t stop the pick-and-roll as Tyson Chandler has 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting.
Third quarter, 2:02, Knicks 90-77: The Celtics are slowly climbing back but they need to be near perfect to make a dramatic rally in this one. After 14 3-pointers in the first half, the Knicks have just one in the quarter while Paul Pierce has 14 points in the quarter and is trying to make the comeback himself. Rajon Rondo took a hard fall on his tailbone but was able to return.
Third quarter, 7:49, Knicks 81-64: The Celtics are trying to hang in there and the Knicks have only hit one 3-pointer so far and now have 15 for the game. Rajon Rondo just took a hard spill on his tailbone going for a rebound but was able to get up and walk to the bench on his own. Unsure if he will return.
Halftime, Knicks 72-53: The Knicks put on some kind of shooting display, draining 11 3-pointers in the second quarter to the amazement of the fans at MSG that went crazy after every shot. J.R. Smith and Steve Novak combined for 34 points on 11-for-15 3-point shooting as the Knicks are shooting 63.4 percent. The Celtics shot 54.5 percent but somehow that means little at this point.
Second quarter, 4:30, Knicks 54-37: The Knicks are shooting nearly 65 percent and have already hit nine 3-pointers as they try to bury the Celtics in the first half. J.R. Smith has 15 points off the bench while Carmelo Anthony has 17. Rajon Rondo has 10 points and six assists for the Celtics.
Second quarter, 9:07, Knicks 40-26: New York is on an 18-0 run as the Celtics can’t seem to get a good shot and J.R. Smith is busy draining 3-pointers. He has four during this run as the Knicks are shooting 62.5 percent. The Celtics are just trying to avoid being buried but they haven’t scored since the 2:24 mark of the first quarter.
First quarter, 1:51, Celtics 26-24: The Celtics are shooting 63 percent but they can’t stop Carmelo Anthony or Tyson Chandler and that’s bad news. The two have combined for 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Avery Bradley has 8 points for the Celtics while Rajon Rondo has 5 points and five assists.
First quarter, 5:14, Celtics 17-13: Carmelo Anthony already has 8 points as the Knicks are killing the Celtics on the pick-and-roll and Anthony is drawing fouls. Not a good sign for the Celtics. All five Celtics have scored.
First quarter, 9:00, Celtics 9-4: Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley have canned 3-pointers and the Celtics are off to a strong start without Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus. Rondo already has two assists.