Celtics nip Knicks, 90-86

Celtics nip Knicks, 90-86
December 13, 2013, 9:45 pm
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Jared Sullinger fights for a rebound against the Knicks.

(AP Photo)

BOSTON — It wasn't quite the rousing blowout from less than a week ago, but the Boston Celtics were more than happy with the outcome in Friday night's rematch with the Knicks.

A driving lay-up with less than 10 seconds to play by Jeff Green capped off a furious fourth quarter rally for the Celtics in beating the Knicks 90-86.

Unlike their matchup earlier this season, this game wasn't decided until the game's final seconds.

After leading most of the first half, Boston found itself fighting off a strong surge by the Knicks which put them ahead 73-68, going into the fourth.

New York went ahead by as many as nine points before a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley capped off a 16-5 run that gave Boston an 86-84 lead with 2:38 to play.

When the two met on Dec. 8, Boston raced out to an 18-1 lead. On Friday, the first quarter featured three lead changes and nine ties before a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Courtney Lee lifted Boston to a 29-26 lead after the first.

Boston began to pull away in the second, fueled by a 19-5 run to start the quarter.

Just when it seemed destined for a second pummeling in as many matchups, New York finished the second quarter with a 15-5 run that brought the Knicks within 54-48 at the half

The Knicks were once again being led by Carmelo Anthony who had 20 points in the first half on 7-for-13 shooting. He would finish with a game-high 26 points.

Meanwhile, Boston's inside-out action was impressive.

The Knicks had no answer for Jared Sullinger around the basket, as he scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half.

That opened things up for Lee on the perimeter. He had 14 first-half points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting. He led all Celtics backups with 18 points.