New York 117, Boston 106
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass
BOSTON – )Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – The New York Knicks put their chaotic sideshow on hold for at least one night. The Knicks picked up a rare win in an unlikely place, holding off a series of pushes by Boston before pulling away down the stretch in a 117-106 win over the Celtics on Wednesday night.
Derrick Rose scored 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Knicks dominated the boards from the start and won for just the third win in the month of January.
“We’ve lost a lot of games this year. It’s good to win one,” said Rose, who matched his highest scoring output since the Knicks picked him up last summer. “We did everything to win the game. Even when they made runs, we made sure that we stayed together. We didn’t fuss while we were on the floor. We just communicated. We’ve just got to try to keep this going.”
The new no-fuss Knicks never trailed in the second half. Three starters and three reserves scored in double figures as New York improved to 3-7 in the month.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangomez added 17 points apiece for the Knicks, who had lost their last four against the Celtics. Hernangomez also pulled down 11 rebounds and Rose had 10 boards as New York outrebounded Boston 57-33.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 13 points one day after a private but well publicized meeting with Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson.
“It was a big win for us to come in here and kind of put everything to the side in spite of what’s been surrounding the team,” Anthony said. “The way that we did it — the way that we came together as a unit and as a group — everybody played a big part in this victory.”
Isaiah Thomas scored 39 to lead Boston. Jae Crowder added 21 points and center Al Horford had 10 assists for the Celtics, who never quite recovered after the Knicks surged at the end of the first half.
Thomas and the Celtics started to fade down the stretch once the outside shots that were falling early stopped, often bouncing right into the hands of a New York player. Even Thomas faded down the stretch, scoring just eight points in the fourth quarter while making 2 of 9 shots.
“I can’t make every shot, but I’m just going to keep going, keep being aggressive because that’s what my team needs. I could have played a lot better in that fourth,” Thomas said. “It was more than what I did in that fourth quarter — as a team we just weren’t there.”
The Knicks led 63-54 at halftime after closing out the second quarter on a 10-2 run. New York stretched the lead to 12 early in the third, but Thomas got Boston back in it by scoring the Celtics’ first eight points of the second half.
Boston was able to stay within single digits, pulling within 80-79 late in the third quarter, but never quite caught up to the Knicks. Jaylen Brown hit a pair of free throws with 7:57 left to play to get Boston within a point again at 97-96, but
the Knicks responded with eight straight points, starting with back-to-back 3-pointers by Justin Holiday and Courtney Lee, then a reverse layup by Rose after he pulled down an offensive rebound.
Thomas scored again for Boston, but New York continued to roll with a 3-pointer by Anthony after Thomas drove for a basket to get Boston to 100 points. Boston fans started booing and didn’t stop as the hapless Knicks ended a four-game losing streak against the Celtics.
“These guys are a determined bunch,” New York coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We’ve had some bad breaks. We’ve had some bad games, but they stayed in there together.”
Thomas had 19 points at halftime after going 8-for-11 from the floor in the first two quarters, making 3 of 4 3-pointers. He has scored at least 20 in 26 straight games and made all 10 of his foul shots Wednesday.
NOTES: The Celtics entered with a four-game winning streak against the Knicks, including the first two meetings this season. … G Avery Bradley was a late scratch from the Boston lineup because of a strained right Achilles’ tendon. … Knicks C Joakim Noah was out with a sore left ankle after being listed as questionable before the game. … The Knicks were also without F Lance Thomas, who suffered a fractured orbital bone when he took an elbow to the left side of his face against Toronto on Sunday. … The Knicks recalled C Marshall Plumlee from Westchester of the NBA Development League. … The Celtics signed 11-year-old fan Stephen Register of Needham, Mass., to a one-day contract, granting his wish through Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The boy was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.