“That was a what-we’re-used-to, grind-it-out, bodily form of Celtics win that I believe has been what we’ve been about after we’re at our greatest,” coach Brad Stevens stated. “I assumed that we performed actually exhausting tonight.”
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 32 factors and Jayson Tatum added 25. RJ Barrett had 29 factors to steer New York. The Celtics (26-26) broke a tie for seventh place within the East with the Knicks (24-26).
The Knicks led, 85-80, with six minutes left within the fourth quarter earlier than the Celtics went on a 9-0 run that was keyed by a Tristan Thompson block that led to a Brown fast-break layup.
After a Julius Randle dunk off a steal pulled the Knicks inside 91-90 with 1:39 left, Sensible missed a 3-pointer and the Knicks had an opportunity to push again in entrance. However Barrett misplaced management of the ball and saved it as he was falling out of bounds, main to a different Brown layup.
Barrett then tied the rating at 93 with a 3-pointer, however Tatum discovered Sensible for an open 3-pointer with 35.7 seconds left that made it 96-93. Alec Burks missed a 3-pointer on New York’s subsequent possession, and the lead was by no means actually in peril once more regardless of a few late New York 3-pointers.
“Tonight,” Sensible stated, “we simply made a giant effort to continuously hold going it doesn’t matter what occurred on both finish.”
Observations from the sport:
⋅ Brown didn’t appear engaged throughout the Celtics’ loss to the 76ers on Tuesday, and he appeared to pay attention to that Wednesday. He stated that earlier than the sport he approached Tatum, his fellow All-Star, and mentioned the significance of the sport and their method.
“I stated, ‘Let’s come out and play basketball. Be aggressive and be the perfect model of ourselves,’” Brown stated. “There’s a lot outdoors noise and shifting round, I simply wanted to return out and be Jaylen.”
It was apparent that he was locked in. Early within the sport he compelled a backcourt violation, transformed a tricky 3-point play on a fast-break, and took a pleasant feed from Tatum for a strong dunk. He appeared to be placing extra of an emphasis on attacking somewhat than settling for jumpers. He took 12 of Boston’s 24 first-quarter photographs. Along with his massive scoring night time, he added 10 rebounds, 3 assists and a couple of steals.
“Simply being concerned extra, and issues like that,” Brown stated. “Part of that’s me asserting myself, simply being extra aggressive.”
⋅ Thompson returned after sitting out practically a month due to COVID-19 protocols. Stevens stated earlier than the sport he anticipated to play Thompson in brief bursts. He checked in halfway by means of the opening quarter and instantly blocked Knicks guard Reggie Bullock on the rim. Throughout his first stint he additionally drew three taking pictures fouls inside, a welcome addition of muscle to a Celtics frontcourt that had been reeling a bit.
After the Knicks stretched their result in 7 factors within the third quarter, Thompson and Grant Williams got here in and shifted the tone with their physicality, serving to spark an essential 10-0 run. Thompson completed with 7 factors and eight rebounds in 22 minutes, and the Celtics outscored the Knicks by 24 factors throughout his time on the ground.
“He brings that vitality,” Sensible stated. “He actually controls the boards for us, and he does a very good job at it. He does a very good job at getting us additional possessions, does a very good job of defending us after we make errors on the defensive finish. After which on the offensive finish, he does a very good job at getting us these additional photographs and discovering guys and doing what he does greatest. So it’s nice to have a man like Tristan.”
⋅ With Walker resting his knee and Fournier out due to COVID-19 protocols, Romeo Langford drew his first begin of the season in simply his third sport this 12 months. He had a rocky starting, committing a foul simply 16 seconds into the sport after which lacking a 3-pointer and a baseline runner.
However he stayed concerned with stable protection and hustle performs within the first half, together with 4 offensive rebounds, two of which had been adopted by Celtics 3-pointers. Langford made simply 5 of 37 3-pointers final season however has labored diligently on his jump-shot as he recovered from offseason wrist surgical procedure. He was 2 for 3 from past the arc towards the Knicks. Given his defensive capabilities, it could be an enormous carry if Langford is ready to change into a constant risk from the perimeter.
⋅ Tatum made some massive photographs and had 25 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, however he virtually crushed the Celtics by committing eight turnovers, together with 5 within the third quarter.
⋅ Boston dominated the offensive glass early, gobbling up second possibilities on 12 of its first 24 missed photographs, for an offensive rebound fee of fifty p.c. The Celtics entered the sport ranked fourth within the league, at 29.2 p.c. Generally offensive rebounds are simply missed photographs which might be then adopted by extra missed photographs. However the Celtics typically took benefit of the chance, holding an 18-3 edge in first-half second-chance factors.