KNICKS 87 CELTICS 71 GAME 2 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
For years, the Celtics intimated their opponents with high level defense en route to Atlantic Division titles, an NBA championship, and another trip to the Finals.
In Game 2, the Knicks showed their rival they too can play a little D.
After limiting Boston to just 25 second half points in Game 1, New York stifled the Celtics offense by holding them to 23 points tonight in the final 24 minutes. The Knicks seized control in the third and fourth quarters while toppling Boston 87-71 in a crucial Game 2 victory.
The early stages looked bleak as New York trailed Boston by as much as nine points in the first half and ran into the locker room down 48-42. At that point, the Knicks were 14-of-37 from the floor, Carmelo Anthony only hit three field goal attempts, and the Celtics bench found some scoring options with 14 combined points from Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford.
Right out of the gate, Iman Shumpert buried two long bombs to tie the game at 48-48 in the third frame. Pablo Prigioni dropped a dime to Tyson Chandler for an old fashioned 3-point play two minutes later. The foul on Kevin Garnett was his fourth personal. Chandler’s bucket ignited the MSG crowd and started an avalanche of offense for the home team.
Raymond Fetlon was an essential piece of the puzzle on Tuesday night. The point guard was extremely efficient, hitting 8 of his 15 attempts and attacking Paul Pierce on the offensive side of the floor. Felton’s off the glass finish at 5:28 in the third quarter punctuated an incredible turnaround and 20-4 run from the Knicks. New York’s signal caller posted 16 points and seven boards in the win.
Carmelo Anthony put the finishing touches on the game-changing third period when he blew past Garnett for a jam. Anthony hit 5-of-6 shots and 13 of his game-high 34 points in the quarter.
The Sixth Man of the Year concluded the first quarter with three incredible plays. J.R. Smith hit a step-back jumper, forced a turnover from Pierce, and then nailed a 36-foot shot from Westchester at the buzzer. He helped New York end the period on an 11-0 run. Smith dropped 19 points in 36 minutes while shooting 7-of-15.
Boston simply ran out of scoring options and capable threats on the floor. Garnett was saddled with foul trouble all night while Pierce was the Celtics high-scorer at 18 points.
Kenyon Martin anchored the paint, stepping up in a major role with four blocked shots at the center spot. The Celtics finished 37.1 percent from the field after hitting 55.9 percent in the first half.
Prigioni returned to the starting lineup and head coach Mike Woodson placed Felton on Pierce while shifting Shumpert to Green. The 35-year old registered five dimes in the Knicks victory.
Knick of the Night:
Felton and Anthony share the honors tonight. Anthony shook off a rusty first half of action to hit 11-of-24 shots in the game. Felton took advantage of the Celtics big lineup that featured Pierce at the shooting guard position.
The Knicks set a playoff franchise record with the least amount of points allowed in a half (23). Boston has combined to score 48 points in the final four quarters of Game 1 and Game 2.
The series shifts to Boston for Game 3 on Friday night with New York holding a 2-0 series lead.