On Friday night, at the TD Garden in Boston, the Knicks (#2 Seed, 54-28) defeated the Boston Celtics (#7 Seed, 41-40) 90-76.
The Knicks now have a 3-0 Series Lead in the Best of 7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 26 points on 10-25 shooting from the floor. He had one rebound one steal and was a +8.
Raymond Felton had 15 points on 7-14 shooting from the floor. He had a game high 10 assists and added two rebounds, two steals and one block.
J.R. Smith had 15 points on 6-12 shooting from the floor. He had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. He was called for a Flagrant Two Foul for elbowing Jason Terry and was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter.
Jeff Green led the Celtics in scoring with 21 points on 8-17 shooting from the floor. He added nine rebounds, four assists but also had five turnovers.
Kevin Garnett had a double-double with 12 points and a game high 17 rebounds. Paul Pierce had 17 points on 6-15 shooting from the floor. He also had five assists, four rebounds and five turnovers.
Jason Kidd did not score but had six rebounds, six assists and two blocks. Pablo Prigioni scored nine points, all in the first quarter, and added two rebounds and five steals.
The Knicks shot 50% from the floor and 41% from three while the Celtics shot only 40% from the field and 32% from three.
The Knicks had a 22 assists, 11 turnover night while the Celtics had 17 turnovers and only 14 assists.
The Celtics for the third straight game were held under 80 points. Before tonight, Boston had never been held below 80 points in three straight games in a single postseason.
This is the first time the Knicks have won a playoff game in Boston since winning Game 5 of the 1990 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.
The Knicks have now won three straight games in the playoffs for the first time since sweeping the Raptors three straight in the 2000 season.
This was the Knicks 1st road playoff game victory since April 29th, 2001 when they won Game 3 of the Quarterfinal series in Toronto.
This was a performance that has been 13 years in the making.
The Celtics were coming home to an emotional crowd ready to root them on to victory. The old guard of Pierce and Garnett were looking to conjure up some magic for one more playoff game.
Then Pablo Prigioni, a 35 year old rookie from Argentina, hit three, three point shots in the first quarter. The Knicks defense came to play all night and Raymond Felton played his best game since early in the season.
It was over before it began, and in a series that looking eerily similar to the Celtics sweep of the Knicks in 2011, the Knicks are in total command.
I mean the only time the Knicks were trailing was 2-0 and they led by double figures for most of the second half. Outside of the ejection of J.R. Smith (Who will probably be suspended for Game Four), tonight was perfect.
I wanted to single out the performances of the three point guards for the Knicks because they all were brilliant tonight.
First, Pablo Prigioni was the catalyst to giving the Knicks a nice cushion to begin the game by knocking down the three pointers mentioned above. Then he doesn’t score for the rest of the game and he still creates havoc by getting five steals.
Second you have Jason Kidd who takes one shot, does not make it and yet does basically does everything else you need a player to do. He was second on the team with six assists, he was second on the team in rebounds with six. He also helped by moving the ball within the flow of the offense and him making great passes for alley-oops was fun to watch.
Then how about the game that Raymond Felton had. He was doing one heck of an impression of Rajon Rondo. While the Celtics look totally lost without a point guard, Felton made it look worse by dominating the play at times. He drove to the rim with abandon, made his jump shots and was making very solid passes time and time again.
Felton has taken criticism throughout the season and at times it was more than warranted. But, he has been great in this series and is making the most of his second chance with the Knicks.
Also, I thought it would be interesting to point out that Melo has scored 96 points in this series for a 32 points per game average. He only has two assists in those three games, all Knicks victories. I wonder what Dan Shaughnessy thinks of that.
The Knicks have been absolutely amazing the past 21 games, going 19-2 in that span, and are one win away from putting the Celtics out of their misery.
For all the Kevin Garnett nonsense, the Paul Pierce antics at the Garden, the sweep in 2011 and the 2007 104-59 debacle, the Knicks are about to put the hammer down on the run of success for that franchise.
Break out the Brooms on Sunday. It’s time for some Spring Cleaning.
Coming up next the Knicks, will stay in Boston to see if they can put the Celtics away and win their first series since 2000 as they play Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and take on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics. The game is Sunday at 1:00 pm and can be seen on ABC.