They needed a win like this. This kind of win hasn’t happened often for the Celtics. There were a few different times in the fourth quarter that it looked like the game could slip away, but the Celtics kept on coming back.
“That was a what-we’re-used-to, grind-it-out, physical kind of Celtics win that I think has been what we’ve been about when we’re at our best,” Brad Stevens said. “I thought that we played really hard tonight. I thought we really guarded tonight, super physical, second night of a back-to-back.”
Marcus Smart put his stamp on the game. He was the catalyst for this. To Stevens’ point, this really was a very Celtics win with Smart getting back to making some incomprehensible winning plays and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum closing games out. The gritty win had Smart’s gritty personality all over it.
The Celtics called a timeout after the Knicks took an 85-80 lead with 5:50, and Boston came out of the break and whipped off a 9-0 run to take a lead they’d never relinquish.