The Knicks have seemingly exorcised their personal Boston demons, as they knocked off the Celtics, 108-89, Sunday night.
The win not only essentially ended the Celtics’ five-year stranglehold on the Atlantic Division, as the Knicks (46-26) now lead third-place Boston (38-35) by five games, but it also gave New York the edge in the season series, 3-1, which is the first time that’s happened since 2003-04.
Carmelo Antony managed to finally outshine red-hot teammate J.R. Smith, as he notched a team-high 24 points. Anthony also added 10 rebounds, and two steals to help the Knicks win their season-high eighth straight. Smith was once again efficient as he tallied 15 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. The Knicks beat the Celtics on the glass for the second time in as many matchups, as they earned a 41-37 advantage.
Just as impressive as their rebounding spirit was the fact that the Knicks had a robust shooting percentage from behind the arc, as they shot a collective 14-of-27 (51.9 percent). The Knicks’ marksmanship was on full display from the opening tip, they knocked down 11-of-16 from behind the arc in the first half, including a halfcourt 3-pointer at the buzzer by Raymond Felton. Five of the seven Knicks players who knocked down 3-pointers, had at least two drop for them.
What they'll be saying: The C's continue to struggle without Kevin Garnett and seem resigned to the seventh or eighth seed in the East. Chris Wilcox got the start at power forward and Shavlik Randolph was forced to play 14 minutes for a Celtics team struggling in the front court. Paul Pierce led the C's with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
If the playoffs began today, the Celtics would face the Knicks. Indiana is also very much in the mix for the second seed in the East.
- Matt Burke