Coming off a big win against the Pacers, the Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics, 108-105, on Thursday night.
Here are the takeaways….
– The Celtics started the game off fast with three quick buckets down low to take an early lead. Poor defense and shot selection helped Boston go out to a 12-3 run to start the first quarter and force coach Tom Thibodeau to an early timeout. The Knicks, aside from Evan Fournier, had a hard time finding the bottom of the net, shooting just 37 percent in the quarter. Fournier helped fuel a 10-2 run by the Knicks to get the score close. Fournier scored 12 of the team’s 18 points in the quarter. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett were a combined 0-for-8 from the field, and did not score to open this game.
– Alec Burks started the Knicks scoring in the second quarter with a three-pointer, but the team would give up five consecutive threes to the Celtics to help Boston to a 15-3 start. The shots would not go down for the Knicks in the early minutes of this quarter as the Celtics pulled out to a 45-26 lead thanks to the barrage of three-pointers.
Randle would get into the scoring column, hitting back-to-back field goals with five minutes to go. The Knicks would try and chip away at Boston’s lead, but wouldn’t do so until a 8-0 run to go into halftime down 63-47 after being down by as many as 25 points. The Celtics’ hot shooting could not be stopped as they shot 63 percent including 8-14 from three. Fournier went into half with 19 points, while Randle and Barrett had seven and five points respectively.
– Barrett and Fournier hit back-to-back threes to start the third and cut the Knicks’ deficit to just 10. After a Boston timeout, the Celtics go on a 8-0 run and force a Thibodeau timeout. Randle would hit two threes to cut the lead, but one of the worst possessions of the year for the Knicks would happen and seemingly shift the momentum. After Marcus Smart took an elbow to the face going for a block, the Knicks would have a 5-on-4 advantage and still have a shot clock violation. Some mini-runs helped Boston build their lead back up to 20, but Fournier and Immanuel Quickley fueled a 12-1 run to cut the lead to single-digits. Energetic play and poor shooting from the Celtics helped the Knicks end the third down just 84-77.
– The Knicks started the final quarter on a 5-0 run, but Boston would stave the Knicks off as the two would go back and forth throughout the quarter. With the Knicks down two, Fournier hit a long two while fouled to tie the game at 94, but would miss the ensuing free throw. The Knicks and Celtics would exchange leads until New York took a three-point lead. Barrett, with 30 seconds remaining, was fouled up by two points but makes only one free throw. Randle would also be fouled with the team up by one and only made one free throw. Jayson Tatum
– Fournier had a career-high 41 points. He’s scored at least 30 points in all three games against Boston this season. Fournier also tied JR Smith‘s franchise record with 10 threes.
Barrett scored just 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting, but he helped the Knicks overcome a 25-point deficit, the largest team comeback since 2004. Randle scored 22 points on 8-of-20 shooting.
The Knicks travel to Boston to take on the Celtics this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.