The Boston Celtics put it all together on Christmas day and gave Boston the gift of victory, beating the Knicks 119-114. It would be a disservice to single out one player for Boston as this was a true team effort. The starting five was superb and the bench, led by 16 points from Kelly Olynuk, put together a fine performance on the national stage, dispatching of a surprisingly good Knicks team.
It was a competitive game throughout that got uncomfortably close towards the end but Boston, mostly thanks to Avery Bradley and a steal, were able to finally celebrate Christmas with a win. IT led Boston with 27 points, Bradley had 11 points and 3 steals and Amir Johnson had four offensive rebounds. Marcus Smart chipped in 15 points and some outstanding defense overall.
The first quarter started off with the C's and Knicks exchanging buckets. Both teams had quality shot selections and managed to create turnovers. A layup by Isaiah Thomas midway through the quarter led to a Knicks timeout with an 12-11 Boston deficit. At the 4:45 mark, a smooth shot fake and dunk by Al Horford made it a 16-15 New York lead.
Celtics' ball movement is beautiful right now— Michael Pina (@MichaelVPina) December 25, 2016
After back to back three-point airballs by both teams, a Derrick Rose turnover and beautiful ball movement by the C's, Marcus Smart made a layup to bump the score to 18-17. With most of the bench in the game, save for Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk hit a three-pointer to knot the game at 20-20 with 1:40 to go in the first frame. But ultimately, after allowing some offensive rebounds and three-pointers, Boston would go into the second quarter down 28-22.
Isaiah Thomas tried his best to get the C's back into the game with a really high arching floater followed by a three-point shot that made it a one point game. But the Knicks created separation once again on a Kristaps Porzingis tip shot to give the Knicks a five point lead. We also had a Gerald Green sighting! Green hit a quick running jump shot to drop the Knicks lead to three, 34-31. Minutes later he fought for an offensive rebound on a missed Marcus Smart three that created an extra possession for the C's. Three back-to-back-to-back three's by Jae Crowder gave Boston its first lead since the first quarter, 42-37, with 4:38 to go. Three more long range shots, this time by Al Horford, Gerald Green and Marcus Smart, bumped the C's lead to nine.
I thought the Warriors play later— Celtics Junkies (@CelticsJunkies) December 25, 2016
The C's would finish off the quarter with an eight point, 56-48 lead and a 9-4 offensive rebound advantage. Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas had 11 points each while Marcus Smart chipped in 10.
- Carmelo Anthony, who averages over 33 points per game on Christmas, was held to a single field goal on seven shots.
- Amir Johnson and Al Horford both had three offensive rebounds.
- With 7.2 rebounds per game, Avery Bradley is on pace to join Hall of Famer Jerry West with his rebounding numbers as a player under 6'2 for a single season.
- Terry Rozier oddly didn't play a single minute in the first half.
- Boston had 13 assists compared to four by New York
- Six players hit three's for Boston
I believe that was the first Celtics half this season that didn't feature Terry Rozier. His minutes have been limited of late.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 25, 2016
A thunderous dunk by Al Horford that nearly broke the rim put Boston up by ten with 8:50 to go in the third.
Celtics' Al Horford posterizes Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis pic.twitter.com/m8XEJTOroK— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 25, 2016
A double technical on Al Horford and Carmelo Anthony after an insignificant dust up seemed to galvanize the Knicks and the NY fans as Derrick Rose hit a shot soon after to make it a 69-63 game at the 7:05 mark. Isaiah Thomas would answer right back with a driving layup to bring Boston's lead back up to eight. A suspected missed goaltending call on Al Horford on a Rose shot sent Knicks fans into a frenzy and Avery Bradley's made three-point shot right after didn't make them feel any better.
A Courtey Lee three-pointer would make it a two point game at the 2:29 mark but Marcus Smart would answer right back to bump the C's back up by four. A few plays later, Smart took an elbow to the mouth on a shot attempt by Rose that left him bleeding.That was an absurd no-call on that obvious goaltending by Horford.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 25, 2016
Boston would end the frantic quarter with a Kelly Olynyk field goal to go into the fourth quarter with an 88-82 lead.Marus Smart is down on the ground and this is no flop. Got hammered with an elbow from Derrick Rose on that layup attempt.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 25, 2016
Gerald Green started the quarter with a made contested three-point shot, followed by an Isaiah Thomas layup to give the C's an 11 point lead. The Knicks chipped away at the Boston lead and Rose, who was relentless driving to the basket all game, made it a seven point game with 6:57 left in the game. Down the stretch the Knicks played a lot of isolation basketball, much to their dismay, as the C's continued to distribute and pass the ball.
At the 3:01 mark, Jae Crowder would hit a free-throw to put the C's up by nine, 110-101. But with 1:36 left in the game, Kristaps Porzingis made it a two point game after a layup and foul by Isaiah Thomas. Carmelo Anthony would then tie the game on the next possession after some bad defense by Boston, 112-112.
A Marcus Smart three put the C's back up 115-112 and Avery Bradley stole the ball from Carmelo Anthony on the other side of the floor to seal the game for Boston.
Merry Christmas, y'all.
Photo credit - Getty Images/NBA.com
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Luis Gonzalez 12/25/2016 02:35:00 PM Tweet Edit