Joseph rallies reserves past Knicks, 109-98

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Joseph rallies reserves past Knicks, 109-98

ALBANY, NY Kris Joseph spent four years at Syracuse University, just a two-hour trek away from the Times Union Center in Albany.

The 6-foot-8 rookie indeed looked at home on Saturday in helping the Boston Celtics rally for a 109-98 win.

After trailing most of the game, Joseph provided a much-needed spark early in the quarter.

Joseph completed a 3-point play to tie the game at 83.

On the ensuing possession, Joseph blocked a shot and was rewarded with a lay-up while drawing a foul.

He completed yet another 3-point play that gave the C's a 3-point lead with 11:17 to play - their largest of the night at that point.

Joseph's opportunity to play was enhanced by Boston's decision to give Paul Pierce the night off.

Within minutes, Joseph had company as Jeff Green, Jason Terry and others began to chip in at both ends of the floor in catapulting the C's to victory.

Although Boston's strong play in the fourth was instrumental in the comeback, the C's began to step their play up back in the second quarter.

"Let's go and see if we can get it!" C's coach Doc Rivers said to his team during a second quarter time-out.

That's exactly what they did, chipping away at a 20-point deficit to make it a competitive game.

Capping off Boston's strong second quarter play was Terry, whose 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining in the quarter cut New York's halftime lead to 52-47.

The 3-pointer gave Terry a team-leading 10 points at the half, followed by nine from Jeff Green and another nine points and six assists from Rajon Rondo.

Boston was playing without a number of core players, including Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who were each given the night off.

In addition, the C's were without Brandon Bass (right knee bruise) and Darko Milicic (right wrist) who were both held out as a precautionary measure.

New York opted to keep some of its core players out as well. Among them were all-stars Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.

With superstars for each team sitting this one out, it afforded some lesser-heralded players an opportunity to play and with that opportunity, potentially play their way on to the roster this season.

Among those was New York's Chris Copeland, who had a big game in the fourth quarter in the C's 98-95 overtime loss to the Knicks last week.

He was at it again on Saturday, hurting the C's by rolling to the basket on pick-and-roll plays on his way to 23 points in the first half. He finished with a game-high 34 points.

Boston spent the entire third quarter trailing, but continued to show signs of breaking through.

They had a chance to go into the fourth tied up, but Jeff Green's desperation 3-point heave rimmed in and out as time expired with the C's trailing 83-80, going into the fourth quarter.

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