On Monday night at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (23-11) were defeated by the Boston Celtics (17-17) by the score of 102-96. Box Score
J.R. Smith led the Knicks in scoring with 24 points on 7-18 shooting from the field off the bench. Smith also had four assists and three rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points but was only 6-26 from the field, 4-12 from three. He also added five assists and three rebounds.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics in scoring with 23 points on 10-18 shooting from the floor. He also had three rebounds and six assists. Kevin Garnett added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Tyson Chandler scored 13 points and had a game high 17 rebounds including seven offensive rebounds.
Rajon Rondo was suspended for tonight’s game for bumping a referee on Saturday against Atlanta and for not cooperating in the NBA’s investigation.
Amare Stoudemire had 13 points on 4-6 shooting with two rebounds and two assists.
Without Rondo, the Celtics only turned the ball over 10 times.
The Knicks have alternated wins and losses in each of their last eight home games.
Boston has won 19 of its last 23 games against the Knicks.
The Celtics shot 53% from the field while the Knicks only shot 41%
The Knicks are 6-9 this season when allowing 100+ points
Paul Pierce is this generations Reggie Miller for us Knicks fans. Tonight, watching this game, I thought the intensity was great. The fight and passion was fun to see and both teams wanted this game badly. It is so difficult to watch your lose a game like this when you see them fight so hard and give their all. Do I like the fact that it has become a pattern for the Knicks to allow physical teams get them off their game? Not at all. But, I do like that the Knicks will not let teams run around the Garden like they own the place like in the past without a fight. The Knicks could have won this game, probably should have, but a rivalry that has been simmering the past two seasons may have reached the boiling point tonight.
- Carmelo Anthony had a frustrating game tonight and it didn’t end when the buzzer sounded. He actually shot better from three tonight than from inside the arc and was in foul trouble for most of the game. Then to top it off he reportedly went to the Boston locker room to have words with someone, probably Kevin Garnett. Now, as Mike Woodson said, Melo can have bad games too, and I’m sure he should bounce back quickly. But, he should leave it on the court and not risk suspension for trying to take the battle to the locker rooms.
- Interesting post game from the Knicks and Celtics, who all had memory loss about the Melo incident.
- J.R. Smith was solid again off the bench and played his heart out and did his best when Melo was out with foul trouble. He did at time over dribble it seemed which played right into the hands of the aggressive nature of the Boston D. Smith even finished down the stretch with a cut on his head from a hard foul. His post on twitter after the game said it all.
- The Celtics and the Bulls defense have given the Knicks the most trouble this season. Considering the fact the coaches worked together in the past, it makes sense. No shot that the Knicks took in the second half was an easy one and Avery Bradley specifically was all over the place making life miserable for any Knicks bringing the ball up the floor. With two games in the next 17 days against those teams, it will be interesting to see how the Knicks adjust.
– Tyson Chandler had a nice game tonight and played defense about as well as you could on Pierce’s dagger shot. On the same day his rebounding was chronicled he gets 17 including seven on the offensive glass.
- Amar’e had his best game from an overall perspective tonight and although the rust is still showing, the improvement is evident for the most part. He shot the ball better, made a couple of big shots as the Knicks tried to comeback and had more confidence. This was a good sign and I hope to see it continue against Indiana.
I think that the next two days off before back to back games against Indiana and Chicago will help the Knicks refocus for two more tough games against top teams in the Eastern Conference. The ability of this Knicks team to bounce back has been great and we will see if that continues after this tough loss tonight. The next game between the Knicks and the Celtics is on January 24th in Boston and after what we saw from them tonight, that game will be must see TV.
Coming up next, the Knicks are back on the road, as they head off to where Mike Woodson cut his teeth as a basketball player, to take on Roy Hibbert, Paul George and the Indiana Pacers. The game will begin at 8:00 pm on Thursday and will be shown on MSG.