Boston Celtics at New York Knicks
When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, December 1, 2019
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
NEW YORK – The Boston Celtics are suddenly struggling for wins on the road and will try to escape New York with a victory when they visit the Knicks this afternoon. The Celtics fell 112-107 in Brooklyn on Friday to lose for the fourth time in their last five games on the road — including three straight — following a 5-1 start away from home.
“That start of the game really hurt us,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters after his team fell behind by as many as 12 points in the first quarter. “I thought Brooklyn was more ready probably than we were and they really punched us in the mouth.” Boston already has two wins against the Knicks this season, including a 23-point rout at Madison Square Garden, and it will catch a New York team that doesn’t seem to be any closer to figuring things out. The Knicks started fast at home against Philadelphia on Friday before fading in 101-95 setback, their fifth straight overall. Julius Randle recorded 22 points and 10 rebounds in the loss for his eighth double-double.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, NBCS Boston, MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (13-5): After combining for 61 points in a win over the Nets on Wednesday at home, guards Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown had just 25 total at Brooklyn, shooting 10-for-27 from the floor. Jayson Tatum, who had missed all 12 of his 3-point tries over his previous three games, hit 4-of-8 in Friday’s loss en route to 26 points. Tatum capped a 24-point effort in the last meeting with the Knicks by hitting a tie-breaking jumper with 1.3 seconds left in a 104-102 win.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (4-15): Aside from the loss of an early 16-point lead, the other notable development at Madison Square Garden on Friday was the decision not to play second-year forward Kevin Knox, one of the presumed building blocks and a guy who had appeared in every game in which he was healthy to this point in his career. “The flow of the game,” Knicks coach David Fizdale told reporters when asked why Knox didn’t play. “But by no means is Kevin buried. He’s going to have to fight his way out of it. I got a lot of confidence that he will.” The 20-year-old Knox is averaging 6.2 points on 35.1 percent shooting in November after posting 12.0 on 44.2 percent in October.
- Boston PG Brad Wanamaker is 9-for-14 from the floor — 3-for-3 from 3-point range — over his last two games since going 0-for-8 in a win over Sacramento on Monday.
- Knicks F Marcus Morris reached the 20-point mark for the 11th time this season in Friday’s loss after doing so 10 times last season with the Celtics.
- Boston has won four straight meetings, as well as four in a row at New York.
PREDICTION: Celtics 108, Knicks 99