Boston Celtics

Game 4 notes: Celtics-Knicks

Game 4 notes: Celtics-Knicks

Celtics (56-26) at Knicks (42-40)
Celtics lead series 3-0

Playoff Team leaders
Celtics: PPG Paul Pierce (25.3); RPG Kevin Garnett (11.7); APG Rajon Rondo (12.0)

Knicks: PPG Carmelo Anthony (24.0); RPG Carmelo Anthony (10.7); APG Carmelo Anthony (5.3)

Previous game
The Celtics jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back in Game 3, easily coming away with a 113-96 win on Friday night. Paul Pierce (38 points) and Ray Allen (32 points) had the hot hands shooting the ball, while Rajon Rondo racked up his first playoff triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 20 assists. The Knicks, playing without Chauncey Billups (left knee) and a limited Amar'e Stoudemire (back spasms), were led by Carmelo Anthony's 15 points on 4-for-16 shooting.

What to look for
Doc Rivers' ability to make adjustments at halftime has been huge in this series thus far. Boston has trailed in two of the three games, but has outscored the Knicks by an average of 10 points in the third quarter.

Whos hot?
When a fan booed Paul Pierce hours before tip-off in Game 3, Pierce said, "it feels like home." He wasn't kidding. His 38 point eruption in Game 3 was just the latest pummeling by Pierce at Madison Square Garden. In the three games that Pierce has played at MSG this season, he has averaged 30.3 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 64 percent from the field (32-for-50) and 64 percent on 3s (9-for-14).

Storylines
Down 3-0 in the series, the Knicks must decide to either raise the white flag and sit Amar'e Stoudemire (back spasms) down, or try to fight on knowing that he could potentially make his back injury worse. Boston's biggest enemy today may very well be themselves. This is the third time this core group has had a team on the verge of being swept. In the two previous instances, both last season, the C's lost before ultimately going on to win the series. Focus, as well as more contributions from the bench, will play a major role in deciding whether the C's Big Four will finally sweep a team out of the playoffs.

Report: Thomas won't need hip surgery

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Report: Thomas won't need hip surgery

Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe Wednesday that Isaiah Thomas will not need surgery on his right hip after being hampered late in the postseason. 

Thomas originally suffered the injury March 15 against the Timberwolves and missed two games before reaggravating it in Game 6 of the second round against the Wizards. He played the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals but was shut down for the final three. 

“Isaiah is making good progress,” Ainge told the Globe. “He’s out on the court; he’s shooting. He’s full-speed ahead on the stationary bike and working in the swimming pool. He’s progressing nicely.”

The Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach wrote that the team waited for swelling to go down before determining whether surgery would be needed, and that “barring any further setbacks,” he will not. 

Thomas is coming off a career year in which he averaged 28.9 points a game. He is entering the final year of his contract.