JR Smith and Steve Novak were the difference as the two each had 25 points off the bench on combined 15-20 shooting from deep. Smith hit all seven of his 3s in the first half, which tied a team record. Novak's 25 points is a new career high for the sharpshooter out of Marquette. The Knicks bench outscored Boston by 53 points as Keyon Dooling was the only Celtic to hit a shot off the bench.
The Celtics were able to make a run late in the second half thanks to a season high 43 points by Paul Pierce, but it was too much Novak as he hit consecutive 3s to put the game away. Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 13 assists in the losing effort.
With the win the Knicks improve to 14-5 since Mike Woodson took over the coaching duties and take soul possession of the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. If the season ended today, the Knicks would start their playoff run in Miami to take on the Heat. Amare Stoudemire is expected to return to the lineup before the playoffs, and possibly even this week. Stoudemire has been out since March 24 with a back injury that has forced Anthony to pick up the scoring load for the Knicks. In his last 10 games, Anthony is averaging just over 31 points per game on 50% shooting.
Boston spoiled the chance to clinch their fifth-straight Atlantic Division crown with the 76ers also losing last night to the Indiana Pacers. While the Knicks had no problem draining the trey, the Celtics could have certainly used their best shooter, but Ray Allen sat out his fifth straight game after suffering a minor setback with his ankle on Tuesday. Mickael Pietrus also missed the game with a sore knee.
There is limited rest for both teams as they both are back at it tonight as the Celtics will take on the Orlando Magic in Boston on TNT. The Magic will be without Dwight Howard once again as he tries to recover from a back problem of his own. New York should have an easier time in New Jersey when they take on a Deron Williams-less Nets team.
TL;DR The Knicks and Celtics battled in one of the more entertaining games of the NBA season.
Celtics vs. Knicks Recap [ESPN]
Posted by Mowry under Sports