The Boston Celtics fell to the New York Knicks at the TD Garden, 117-106. The C's were able to keep up with the Knicks, almost reclaiming the lead a few times through the game, but couldn't stop the onslaught of second chance opportunities, which ultimately decided the game.
Derrick Rose (30 pts, 10 reb, 5 ast) led the Knicks, alongside Willy Hernangomez (17 pts, 11 reb). Meanwhile, Isaiah Thomas (39 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast) led all scorers and Jae Crowder (21 pts, 5 reb) helped keep the Celtics in the game.
The biggest problem for the Celtics? Rebounding. The Knicks dominated the glass winning the rebound battle by a margin of 24 (57-33). 18 of those 57 rebounds were offensive.
The Knicks also shot 50.5% from the floor, compared to the Celtics' 38.5%.
-Al Horford tied his career high in assists (10), but tallied one of his worst shooting nights as a Boston Celtic (2-for-14, 4 pts).
-Avery Bradley remains sidelined with a sore achilles.
-Jaylen Brown had a solid outing, tallying 12 points in 19 minutes. He was a spark in the fourth quarter, working his way to the line a handful of times, but wasn't able to surge a comeback.
-Celtics lose their first home game since Dec. 23rd against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Celtics couldn't find momentum in the early going. Al Horford struggled from the floor in the first, but once he started distributing, Boston was able to mount a run. Four minutes into the frame, Horford missed a wide open three-pointer, tracked down the rebound and from the corner while falling down found Jae Crowder underneath the basket who converted an easy layup. Al would assist on the next two buckets, and then knocked down a three of his own to cap off the run, 17-11 Celtics.
The C's were able to build a bit more on the lead they stumbled on, but couldn't sustain it and the Knicks were able to find their way back into the ball game by the end of the first. 34-31, Boston.
New York came into the second in control. Half way through, the Knicks were up five on the shoulders of Willy Hernangomez. The forward was dominating the offensive glass, creating opportunity after opportunity for the Knicks, giving them the ability to pull ahead.
With about five minutes left in the half, the Celtics mounted a comeback. Isaiah and Crowder quickly rattled off a seven-point run to cut the deficit to one, but the Knicks rediscovered their rhythm and were able to balloon their lead to nine at the buzzer. 63-54, New York.
The third quarter was more of the same for the Celtics. Nobody could find momentum, and nobody could secure a defensive rebound. To try and mix things up and resolve the glaring rebound deficit, Brad Stevens inserted Jordan Mickey into the lineup, who spurred a small run with strong defensive plays. A block by Mickey on the defensive end translated to a layup for Crowder on the other side to cut it to just one, but the Knicks didn't allow the Celtics back into the game. They quickly put in three baskets to rebuild their lead to seven and the quarter ended with the C's trailing by 5. 88-83, New York.
Isaiah Thomas seemed mortal for the first time in the fourth quarter.
Second chance points defined the final frame for the Celtics, and ultimately decided the game for them. Jaylen Brown mounted a good effort, working his way to the line several times in the fourth, but Boston couldn't overcome Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, or Willy Hernangomez.
The Knicks successfully boxed the Celtics out of the game, and finished them off 117-106.
Follow Topher Lane on Twitter, @Topher_L. Photo credit: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports. Topher Lane 1/18/2017 10:03:00 PM Tweet Edit