Knicks overwhelm Celtics again, 108-89

Knicks overwhelm Celtics again, 108-89
March 31, 2013, 10:00 pm
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NEW YORK — If the playoffs were today, the Boston Celtics would begin their postseason jaunt in Madison Square Garden.

That may not be a good thing, especially after the Knicks knocked off the Celtics for the second time in less than a week - and with that, won the head-to-head season series - with a 108-89 victory on Sunday night.

Beyond the first three or so minutes of the game, the Knicks controlled this game in every way imaginable.

Carmelo Anthony continues to not just get his points - something he's always done - but also get contributions from those around him. He finished with  a team-high 24 points and 10 rebounds.

New York's strong, across-the-board play kept them ahead by double figures most of the first half.

And that was despite Paul Pierce tallying a near triple-double in the first half with 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists with just one turnover.

Pierce, who suffered a sprained right ankle in the second half, finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds to go with those five assists.

Boston got a strong first half from Jeff Green who had 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting. He led the Celtics with 27 points.

But beyond that, the C's were void of a difference-maker at either end of the floor.

Avery Bradley's shooting woes continued as he missed all three of his shots from the field in the first half.

Courtney Lee had six points on 3-for-5 shooting, but he spent most of his time on the floor turned in all directions in his efforts to limit high-scoring Knicks reserve J.R. Smith who had 11 points in the first half. He finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

And in what was a solid first half by the Knicks, it was only fitting that they capped it off with an improbable, 49-footer by Raymond Felton right before the half that gave the Knicks their biggest lead of the game, 65-48.

The third quarter was much kinder to the Boston Celtics, in part because of a lineup tweak. Boston inserted Jason Terry with the first unit to start the third in place of Chris Wilcox.

That put Bradley and Terry in the backcourt, with Pierce, Green and Brandon Bass up front.

The unit found success early in the quarter, cutting New York's lead to as little as 11 points along with getting Carmelo Anthony in enough foul trouble where Knicks head coach Mike Woodson took him out of the game.

That's the good news?

The bad?

In came Smith who came in averaging more than 17 points per game, and more than 26 points per game during the Knicks previous seven games - all New York wins.

But the C's were in a good flow at both ends of the floor, and even had a chance to make it a single-digit game but a 3-pointer by Green rimmed in and out.

New York made the most of Green's miss and reeled off five straight to lead, 78-64 with more than five minutes to play.

From there, the Celtics were never able to get the string of defensive stops or made baskets to make it a game.