In a pivotal recreation in figuring out the Jap Convention’s seeding, the 25-26 Celtics hosted the 25-26 New York Knicks after a big-name loss to the Philadelphia 76ers the evening earlier than.
The Celtics, a predictably poorly staffed affair with the Knicks on the town, managed to get previous with a 101-99 win. Similar to the evening earlier than, the Celtics could not deal with the basketball, however this time they managed to win anyway.
The Knicks got here into play with the fourth greatest defensive score within the NBA and the most effective factors per recreation within the NBA.
Romeo Langford hit the grid for the third time in his profession as a result of Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker have been absent. Langford took on the primary two-guard position with Marcus Sensible.
That is Langford’s third begin in his profession. He beforehand began in opposition to Orlando and Washington (within the final recreation of the 2020 common season). https://t.co/sqW4DytXj8
– Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) April 7, 2021
The primary two begins in opposition to Orlando and Washington in his rookie season lasted 28 and half-hour, respectively. Langford performed 25 minutes in opposition to the Knicks. He began slowly, recognizing RJ Barrett with the Knicks first possession, then flipping it with Boston second. He completed the sport with six factors and 5 rebounds.
Tristan Thompson additionally returned to the Celtics lineup after an extended absence within the NBA’s well being and security protocols. He noticed 22 minutes of motion and famous seven factors, eight rebounds and three blocks. Its affect was evident and mirrored in a workforce excessive of +24.
Boston’s offensive began slowly, scoring simply six factors within the first 5 minutes in opposition to one of many league’s greatest defensive items.
The Celtics’ protection stored them within the recreation. Regardless of a poor first quarter, they nonetheless had a 3 level lead by the top of the primary quarter, with Jaylen Brown main the workforce with factors (12). Brown completed the sport at 32.
Robert Williams III was energetic and energetic within the first recreation, scoring 5 factors and getting 4 offensive rebounds.
It wasn’t simply Williams terrorizing the offensive glass, your complete Celtics workforce created second probabilities with offensive rebounds. Langford confirmed hectic in his third profession begin and received 4 offensive rebounds. Boston completed with 16 offensive rebounds.
Robert Williams (5) and Romeo Langford (4) mixed 9 offensive rebounds for the Celtics with 7:08 within the first half.
– Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) April 8, 2021
Exercise on the offensive glass stored Boston in play for the primary half. One level forward at halftime, Boston had a large 13-2 offensive rebound benefit.
Tristan Thompson confirmed himself in his first second leg with a workforce better of +10 plus minus and threw six rebounds on the glass within the first half alone.
Brown confronted Julius Randle defensively a number of instances, and early within the recreation Randle struggled to attain 23 factors per goalscorer.
Jayson Tatum additionally fought offensively after two direct low-20 scoring performances. He led the workforce in gross sales and tried laborious to search out consistency along with his soar shot. Tatum made a noise over Taj Gibson on a one-handed tomahawk. Tatum completed with 25 factors.
After an offensively improved second quarter, Boston stumbled out of half-time and let the Knicks take over an early five-point lead. As already a number of instances this season, Tatum began heating up within the third quarter. A ten-0 run fueled by Tatum helped Boston regain its lead.
However Randle had a run of its personal. He scored 13 factors within the third recreation and had a number of fast scoring alternatives. Tatum and the gross sales struggles of the Celtics put New York three factors forward into the fourth quarter. Randle recovered from a tough begin and completed the sport with 22 factors.
The Knicks had shot Boston from beneath all evening. Barrett was deep within the zone and met open eyes after drive-and-kick motion. Duke’s second hit 6-6 of his three and led the Knicks with 29 factors.
The bench scoring was another excuse New York may hold round though it rebounded and flipped the ball nearly as a lot as Boston did. The Knicks Financial institution prevailed in opposition to Bostons Financial institution at 27:15.
Boston and New York crowded for positioning, looking for one benefit over the opposite within the fourth. The Celtic protection stored the Knicks at arm’s size, however the turnovers made certain it was not more than arm’s size.
Barely a minute from the top, Barrett hit his fifth straight 3-pointer to finish the sport, however Sensible had a 3 to reply on the opposite finish. Alec Burks hit a 3 in opposition to Sensible, then Brown was capable of take the sport out of vary with a free throw – after which a block – on one other Burks shot.
Boston has a day without work after which returns to the ground to face the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April ninth