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)
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.
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).
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.
Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has a career free throw percentage of .863 in six seasons in the NBA.
But in a free throw contest against Seattle Seahawks wideout - and free throw champion - Tyler Lockett, Thomas went a perfect 12-for-12.
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics moved one step closer towards trimming down its overcrowded roster with the waiving of John Holland.
The 27-year-old would have gone into training camp with a very slim shot at making the roster. He signed a two-year deal that would have been worth $874,636 for the 2016-2017 season.
However, the contract was non-guaranteed and would have more than likely been used as part of a potential trade.
But no such deal materialized.
So rather than have the 6-foot-5 guard/forward in training camp with the odds heavily stacked against him making the team, Boston waived him now so that he has enough time to either go to training camp with another NBA team or sign with a team overseas.
Holland, who starred at Boston University, has already played overseas in France, Spain and Turkey in addition to having played with the Development League’s Canton Charge last season.
He played in one game for the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics now have 18 players in training camp, 16 of which have guaranteed contracts.
The NBA’s 38 rookies had their annual photo shoot and were polled by NBA.com with a couple of questions about their class. When asked which rookie was the most athletic among them, the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 pick overall last June, won in a landslide.
Here are the results of that question:
1. Jaylen Brown, Boston -- 38.7%
2. Brice Johnson, L.A. Clippers -- 16.1%
3. Marquese Chriss, Phoenix -- 9.7%
T-4. Malik Beasley, Denver -- 6.5%
Kay Felder, Cleveland -- 6.5%
Gary Payton II, Houston -- 6.5%
Providence guard Kris Dunn, No. 5 pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the freshman class’ pick to win rookie of the year honors, with 29 percent of the vote, followed by No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram of the Lakers and No. 1 pick Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Click here for the complete poll.