After snapping a three-game skid on Friday night. the Boston Celtics are now riding a two-game winning streak following a 121-112 win over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
With Aron Baynes out (left elbow sprain), Daniel Theis got his third career NBA start in the Celtics’ second of a back-to-back.
The Celtics came hot, looking like they were carrying over some momentum in the second of a back-to-back. They quickly jumped out to a 13-2 run, to take a 17-9 lead halfway through the first.
It didn’t take long for the Knicks to grind their way back to take a 24-23 lead into the second quarter. Especially with the Celtics only knocking down only two of their nine three-point attempts.
Kyrie Irving’s 15 first-half points were a key contribution in giving the Celtics a 59-56 lead heading into halftime. But we can’t forget about the bench’s whopping 20 points.
In the first-half, both teams struggled from three-land with the Celtics shooting 27.8 percent (5-18) and the Knicks 23 percent (3-13). But the Knicks were still shooting 50 percent from the field, while the Celtics were shooting a decent 42 percent.
The Celtics went into the fourth with an 88-81 lead after Irving went off for an impressive 15 points in the third quarter.
Four minutes into the fourth, Knicks came charging back to pull within in two but they couldn’t keep it together after the C’s buckled down on the defensive end, forcing a series of missed buckets and costly turnovers.
And the Celtics took full advantage of the Knicks’ misfortunes to maintain a favorable lead throughout the final stretch of the game.
The C’s improved from three in the second-half, finishing the game with a 39 percent mark from beyond the arc. But the Knicks continued to stink up the joint from deep, finishing the game with a measly 22 percent.
Irving led all Celtics scorers with 31 points on 50 percent shooting, to go with nine rebounds and eight assists. And Trey Burke led all Knicks with 26 points, while coming off the bench.
Kyrie Irving has reached the 30-point mark for the 17th time this season, and the 2nd time in the last 3 games— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) February 25, 2018
But Irving wasn’t the only C’s player to have himself a night. Jaylen Brown dropped 24 points (10-17 FG) and Al Horford posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
In Marcus Smart’s second game back, he scored 11 points (4-5 FG) to with two rebounds, five assists and three steals over 26 minutes.
Adam Jones Show [AUDIO]: Stop Acting Like Marcus Smart Is More Than A Role Player
After playing back-to-back road games since returning from the All-Star break, the Celtics will finally return home Monday night to take on the Memphis Grizzlies.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (42-19) will play the first of back-to-back home games Monday night, against the Memphis Grizzlies (18-39). Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com