Celtics Rain 3’s & Beat Knicks Late. Boston 133 NY 108

The Boston Celtics rained 3’s all evening — 27-51 from 3 for 52.9% — and the Knicks could just not keep up with that firepower. The Knicks tried — an in fact the game was close, 119-114 with 4:08 left — but Boston kept up their scoring pace and the Knicks wilted at the end.

Jayson Tatum (6-13 from 3) and Jaylen Brown (10-19) were the primary 3-pt shooting weapons for Boston — but everyone was taking them — even former Knick Noah Vonleh, who spent last year in China shooting 3’s because he knew he needed to add that to his game to make it back in the NBA.

The Knicks tried to guard the 3 — and put pressure on it — but Boston kept hitting even with a man in their face.

“They’re a dynamic team off the dribble,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “Some of it was poor defense. Some of it was them making shots. Some I though we could have challenged better. Some we did challenge well, they made. The thing is when you have Tatum and Brown and then you got playmakers like Malcolm Brogdon — he’s going to put pressure on you as well, and smart — and Grant Williams — they’re playmakers. They put a lot of pressure on us.”

Thibodeau added, “As I told the team, but going into tonite we had the best defensive field goal percentage, we were 3rd in defending the 3 — and so we didn’t defend it well. Some of the mistakes we made are very correctable. We just have to come back with a determination to fix it, and stay together and work through it.”

The Knicks were 11-27 from 3 — 40.7 % — pretty good — and it was a rip-roaring, high-powered offensive game all evening — and close — until the final 4 minutes.


1. Barrett Was Great

RJ Barrett had another strong and efficient game. He was 9-15 (3-5 from 3, 6-6 in free throws) for 27 pts, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. He did commit 6 turnovers.

Barrett has been much more efficient in his scoring this season — not only scoring more efficiently on his drives to the basket, but passing off the drive as well — opening up opportunities.

Barrett is now averaging 19.3 ppg but even better:

  • His 2-pt field goal percentage is now .520 — by far a career high and way higher than last year’s .442.
  • His free throw percentage is now a splendid .811 (last year it was .714, and the prior year .746).
  • He started out the year with a horrible 4-28 from 3 for a .143, but recently has been hitting them to raise his 3-pt percentage to .275. That’s up over .100 pts since last week.

2. Randle Great Too

Julius Randle played like an All Star — 29 pts on 10-19 shooting (3-7 from 3; 6-6 in free throws), 9 rebounds, and 2 assists.

3. Brunson Terrific

And of course Jalen Brunson had another strong showing at the point — leading the Knicks’ high-powered offense all evening: 22 pts on 10-17 shooting with 10 assists.

4. Hartenstein Played Well at Center

Isaiah Hartenstein played well as the starting center as Mitchell Robinson is out with a bruised knee. He had 10 points on 5-6 shooting, with 14 rebounds, an assist, and a +7.

5. Reddish Started; Played Well

Cam Reddish started and played 37 minutes. He only went 1-6 from the floor for 4 points but played well although it didn’t show up in the boxscore. Reddish was the only other Knick starter besides Hartenstein with a positive +/- — he had a +4.

6. Toppin Good

Obi Toppin played 15 minutes off the bench, and hadn’t scored entering the 4th quarter. But he played well — blocking a shot and hitting some terrific drives late to finish with 7 points on 3-9 shooting (1-5 from 3), 6 rebounds, a block — but a -22.

Other Knicks

Derrick Rose played well — 10 points on 4-10 shooting in 10 minutes. Immanuel Quickley was 2-6 for 4 pts on 13 minutes, and Evan Fournier came off the bench for 3 pts in 11 minutes.

The Boxscore



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