J.R. Smith scored 32 points and Carmelo Anthony added 29 as the Knicks rolled over the depleted Celtics 100-85 Tuesday night at TD Garden.
The Celtics clearly missed Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee, but the Knicks were not without their own injury issues. Tyson Chandler was out for New York, as is Amar’e Stoudemire, and resulting Knicks lineups included Kenyon Martin at center or no center at all. The Celtics matched with Brandon Bass or Jeff Green getting cracks in the middle. The Celtics allowed 15 offensive rebounds and forced just 8 Knicks turnovers. On their own end Boston committed 20 turnovers. Celtics starting point guard Avery Bradley did not have an assist.
Jeff Green led the Celtics with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but Green made just 6 of 14 shots. It was an off night for Paul Pierce, who finished with 16 points, 6 assists, and 6 turnovers. The Celtics have now lost five straight and face the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road Wednesday night.
5:19 4th quarter, Knicks 93-76: Not sure why Paul Pierce is still in the game here. Avery Bradley having one of the worst games of his career with 4 points, 0 assists, 0 steals, and 1 turnover.
8:48 4th quarter, Knicks 88-73: Fans haven’t started leaving yet, but they’re not exactly on their feet chanting “de-fense”, either. Pierce coming back to try to get it closer.
End 3d quarter, Knicks 81-69: Smith hits what must have been a 30-footer to end the quarter, to oohs and ahhs from the crowd. He’s got 28 points.
3:44 3d quarter, Knicks 74-62: Jason Kidd nails a 3-pointer. Remember when he couldn’t shoot? Maybe when Rajon Rondo hits his late 30’s he’ll become a dead-eye shooter.
6:50 3d quarter, Knicks 67-60: Green has 9 points and 2 rebounds in 5 minutes as the Celtics have cut the lead to seven.
9:42 3d quarter, Knicks 63-52: Jeff Green hits a long 3-pointer. Not part of the offensive game plan but the Celtics will take the points.
Halftime, Knicks 58-44: The Knicks committed just two turnovers in the first half en en route to a 14-point lead at the break. Jordan Crawford is the only Celtic in double-figures with 11 points. The Celtics have nine turnovers. The Knicks have figured out how to get the shots they want.
2:55 2d quarter, Knicks 49-39: The Celtics’ lack of starting-caliber talent is being exposed right now. They’re playing hard but can’t finish on offense, and New York is starting to get the shots they want.
5:40 2d quarter, Knicks 44-35: The Knicks have 22 points off the bench. Smith and Anthony have 34 of the 44 New York points on an efficient 13-for-24 shooting.
7:14 2d quarter, Knicks 38-35: Paul Pierce has one field goal attempt so far, which seems low.
8:45 2d quarter, Knicks 33-31: Crawford takes his first awful shot of the night. Rivers said before the game that Smith was a member of the “All-Scare Team” because he scares both coaches. That shot clearly scared Rivers, enough to take Crawford out.
Smith now has 15 points. The Celtics are shooting 52 percent and have 10 assists on 13 field goals but still trail. The Knicks lead in free throws, 9-2.
End 1st quarter, Knicks 28-24: After a slow start by both teams, this game has turned into a shootout. Crawford is leading the way with 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting. J.R. Smith has 10 points for the Knicks, while Carmelo Anthony leads all scorers with 11. When the quarter ended Anthony and Jeff Green were playing center for their teams respectively.
2:47 1st quarter, Celtics 18-17: Crawford stays in the game after the sub, Bradley sits down. Doc Rivers said before the game he likes Crawford’s passing ability. Saw it on a nifty assist before the timeout. He’s got 5 points and 1 assist.
3:50 1st quarter, Celtics 14-12: The Celtics have yet to make a sub, but Chris Wilcox and Jason Terry are coming in at the next whistle. Lots of guard play in this game.
6:03 1st quarter, Knicks 9-8: Jordan Crawford is on the board, but Jeff Green and Avery Bradley have yet to score. Green’s been invisible.
9:49 1st quarter, 0-0: No score. I miss KG.
Pregame: Jordan Crawford will start tonight for the Celtics in place of Courtney Lee, Doc Rivers said before the game. Rivers asked Jason Terry to start but Terry said he preferred to come off the bench.