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The Celtics "close game woes" continued as the Knicks defeated the Celtics 114-120 lead by Kristaps Porzingis with 26 points and Arron Afflalo with 24.

The Celtics couldn't take advantage of the Knicks who were missing Carmelo Anthony (ankle) and Kristaps Porzingis (foul trouble) for most of the second half. Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 34 and 7 assists. Jae Crowder had 21 points and 8 rebounds.

The Knicks came out on fire in the first quarter, doing most of their damage from downtown, shooting 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony made it appear it was going to be a long night for the C’s, who were fortunate to only be down 9 after New York’s 67% shooting quarter.

The second quarter continued with more of the same, as the Knicks opened up a 42-30 lead before Stevens had to call a timeout and regroup. The Celtics seemed to have no answer for Anthony before he left for the locker room on an apparent ankle injury after colliding with an official. New York took a 59-49 lead into the half behind Porzingis's 20 points.

The Celtics started the second half with a bit of a defensive wrinkle, electing to move the 6'4" Marcus Smart from the bench to defend the 7'3" Porzingis. Anthony exited the game about 19 seconds into the half, appearing that his ankle injury was more serious than he first thought, he would not return. Smart held his own against against the big man, as the Latvian went to bench about 4 minutes into the half with 2 points and 2 fouls (his 4th PF).

Isaiah Thomas started to come alive in the third quarter, scoring 16 points from all over the floor and cutting the Knicks lead to 4 heading into the fourth quarter 85-81.

Sullinger began the final frame aggressively, scoring from mid range, inside, and then drawing Porzingis's 5th foul. He continued his dominance after converting a wild and-one to give the Celtics a 102-99 lead with 5:12 to play, scoring 12 on his own in that stretch.

The lead was short lived after a 7-0 Knicks run, but after a 3-pointer from Crowder, and drawing Porzingis's 6th personal on another 3 point attempt, the Celtics regained the lead 107-106.

The teams continued to trade leads down the stretch, but tough baskets but Jerian Grant, Derrick Williams, and Arron Afflalo lead the Knicks to victory.

Celtics play the the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night at home.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP Photos

For more Celtics news and information follow Nolan on Twitter @NolanChuck

Nolan Connor 1/12/2016 10:05:00 PM Edit
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