In their first meeting of the year, the Knicks handed the Celtics their worst loss of the season. The C’s were able to get their revenge on Wednesday night, taking down New York 101-99 in a dramatic win at TD Garden.
The game bucked a number of Celtics’ trends from the season, but the biggest departure from the norm was how Brad Stevens’ team played in the fourth quarter. Not only that, it was Marcus Smart hitting the key shots, scoring 14 points in the final eight minutes.
It was the Celtics who grabbed the momentum first in this one. After the teams traded baskets for the first few minutes, the C’s went on a 10-0 run midway through the first quarter. However, the Knicks finished the frame strong and cut Boston’s lead to just 21-19 after one.
Things were still close early in the second quarter, which featured six lead changes. After the Celtics gained some traction and were able to stretch their lead to seven, the Knicks closed the quarter strong, getting within a point. At halftime of a low scoring game, Boston was up 47-46.
The Knicks run continued into the second half, as they started the third quarter with an 11-3 stretch. That prompted a Stevens timeout, which resulted in an 8-0 Celtics run that took just 57 seconds. The teams went back-and-forth from there, with the Knicks taking a 73-70 lead into the fourth.
New York kept their slight lead for most of the fourth quarter, but the Celtics grabbed the advantage on a Marcus Smart three pointer with five minutes to go. Things stayed close from there, and after RJ Barrett hit a three with a minute to go to tie the game, Smart hit another three on the other end to give the Celtics back the lead for good.
Smart ended up scoring 14 points of the Celtics’ 31 points in the fourth quarter. He had 17 total in the game, which he achieved on 4-of-11 shooting. He finished an assist shy of a double-double.
While Smart showed up in the big moments, it was Jaylen Brown (32 points) and Jayson Tatum (25 points) carrying the brunt of the load for Boston. Brown and Tatum also grabbed 10 rebounds each.
With the win, the Celtics climb back to .500 at 26-26. They also jump ahead of the Knicks in the standings, and now sit in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference.
Boston’s seven-game homestand comes to an end on Friday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves, owners of the worst record in the NBA. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at 7:00 on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.