Final: Knicks 102, Celtics 93

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

GAME: No. 35 of 82:
WHO: Celtics (26-8) vs. Knicks (16-14)
WHEN:  8:00 EST
WHERE:  Madison Square Garden

Projected starters

PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes

Inactive: Marcus Morris (knee) is out. Jaylen Brown (Achilles) and Shane Larkin were both late scratches.

PG: Jarrett Jack
SG: Courtney Lee 
F: Lance Thomas
F: Kristaps Porzingis
C: Enes Kanter

Inactives: Tim Hardaway Jr. is out.

Third Quarter Notes

  • The Celtics starting lineup came out in the third quarter with quite a bit more pep in their step. They kept up their disciplined defense on the Knicks starting five and also saw their 3-point jumpers start to fall. They opened things up with a 17-9 run over the first five minutes of the third to take a 57-49 lead.
  • Kyrie Irving made a living from beyond the arc early, hitting three 3-point jumpers to score nine early points in the frame. 12 of his 19 shot attempts were from downtown.
  • With the offense rolling early, Brad Stevens wisely elected to spend Irving to the bench for an early rest, opening the door for him to be able to close out the entire game in the fourth quarter. Terry Rozier stayed out with the starters, who continued the strong start to build a nine-point lead at one point.
  • Porzingis finally scored his first point on a free throw, but remained out of rhythm all quarter before heading to the bench with foul trouble (4).
  • Michael Beasley was the only Knicks that had anything going on the offensive end, helps the hosts climb out of a hole with a 10-point fourth quarter.
  • C's squandered the lead after going to the bench unit at the end of the frame, giving up a 12-3 run to close the quarter against the Knicks second unit.

Second Quarter Notes

  • Brad Stevens rolled out an interesting mix to start the second quarter and they responded accordingly. The Rozier/Irving/Nader/Ojeleye/Theis unit jumped out to 8-0 run with some tenacious defense and solid weak side rebounding. Knicks bench unit have been reliant on long jumpers with Ojeleye doing a nice job on Michael Beasley.
  • Nice to see Abdel Nader hit a big 3 from above the break off an offensive rebound after struggling with his shot for much of the year.
  • The Knicks bench responded after a timeout with a 6-0 run of their own, before this game effectively turned into a rock fight for the final eight minutes of the frame.
  • The Celtics did a nice job defensively, particularly on Kristaps Porzingis (0-of-11 from field at one point) but they weren't able to take advantage with their sub 33 percent shooting. Al Horford, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart combined for 2-of-7 from downtown despite all of those shots being wide open looks.
  • Knicks maintained a 14-3 edge on second chance points in the first half, thanks to more great work on the glass by Enes Kanter. He now has 13 offensive rebounds against the Celtics over 1.5 games this year.

First Quarter Notes