By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
KNICKS 116, CELTICS 92 | TD BANK GARDEN
How it Happened:
The Knicks' winning streak reached five tonight, and with 16 games left to play in this regular season, momentum is building. With the playoffs inching closer, they went out to dominate and leave Boston with a decisive 116-92 victory.
Carmelo Anthony promised that the Knicks would be up to face their division rivals, and he set the tone early by moving the ball and taking aim from downtown. His three first-quarter threes were part of a 36-point New York outburst that nearly buried Boston right out of the gates.
Despite playing without Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks built a 24-point lead en route to a season-high 68 points in the first half. All eleven who dressed scored at least two points, led by Anthony's 34 and Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 22.
Iman Shumpert, who was active again with seven points (3-of-4 shooting), four rebounds and three assists, picked up his fourth foul just seconds into the second half and the Celtics were able to go on a run. As the Knicks missed their final six shots of the third quarter, Boston had prevented coach Mike Woodson from resting his starters down the stretch.
But his starters stayed hot, turning up the heat in the 4th as they surged to their biggest margin of victory this season. Cole Aldrich, Chandler's replacement, finished with a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and 25 minutes full of paint protection) and J.R. Smith scored 13 points while contributing to a defensive effort that held Boston to 42 percent shooting on the night.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony receives the honor once again after another dynamic showing. In a crucial game with playoff implications, his determination and unselfishness from the opening tip put the Celtics in an early hole from which they'd never crawl out.
The Knicks have a golden opportunity to win their sixth game in a row when they take on the 13-win Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday at noon at the Garden.