Boston 119, New York 114
When: 12:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 25, 2016
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
NEW YORK – Special to Digital Sports Desk by Sports Xchange) – – Marcus Smart hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 47.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics blew a 13-point lead before escaping Madison Square Garden with a 119-114 Christmas Day victory over the New York Knicks.
The Celtics seemingly had their fifth win in six games secure when they held leads of 109-96 with 4:58 remaining and 112-104 with two minutes. They wound up needing Smart’s clutch shot because the Knicks ripped off eight straight points and forged a 112-112 deadlock with 66 seconds left on a baseline layup.
Carmelo Anthony’s hoop forced the Celtics to call their final full timeout and coming out of the stoppage, Jae Crowder was guarded by Kristaps Porzingis on the inbounds pass. Three other players touched the ball before it wound up in Smart’s hands on the left side near the Boston bench.
Smart had enough time to set his feet and calmly hit the uncontested 3-pointer. On New York’s next possession, he was closely guarding Anthony when a 3-point attempt from near the top of the key did not go in.
Boston then took a 117-112 lead on two free throws by Jae Crowder with 17.9 seconds left. A layup by Anthony made it a 117-114 game with 13 seconds left but Isaiah Thomas hit three of four foul shots in the final seconds.
Thomas led the Celtics with 27 points while Crowder and Kelly Olynyk added 16 apiece. Al Horford and Smart contributed for 15 points each for the Celtics, who never trailed after the 5:14 mark of the second quarter.
Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points but shot 9 of 24 after starting 3 of 14 from the floor. Derrick Rose added 25 and Porzingis contributed 22 for New York, which dropped its fourth straight Christmas Day game.
NOTES: Before the game, Knicks F Carmelo Anthony in conjunction with his foundation presented a car to Jarell Lara and his family. The 17-year-old Jarrell Lara suffers from a rare form of cancer called Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis and just completed 18 months of chemotherapy. … Tony Brothers was not among the officials working Sunday’s game and has not officiated a Knicks game since ejecting Anthony on Nov. 11 in Boston. Anthony said after the game that the ejection may have been personal due to his history with Brothers. … Boston’s last three Christmas Day games have taken place in New York. The Celtics also played at the Brooklyn Nets in 2012 and lost by two against the Knicks in the season-opener of the 2011-12 lockout-shortened campaign. … Knicks F Maurice Ndour (sprained right ankle) was not active.