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Short-handed Celts hang on, drop Knicks 102-96

Without Rajon Rondo, the Celtics held the Knicks' explosive offense down and won their third straight game.

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the most competitive, compelling games of the season, the Celtics survived another suspension to Rajon Rondo and dropped the Knicks 102-96 on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. The C's, who shot 53 percent, overcame not only the absence of Rondo but a first quarter, 10-point deficit as well as a second quarter which saw the Knicks hit eight 3-pointers.

Paul Pierce led the Celts with 23 points despite being in foul trouble from early in the first quarter. The Celts, who played their third consecutive stellar defensive game in handing the Atlantic Division leading Knicks just their fourth home defeat of the season.

Avery Bradley, in his fourth game back, continued to set the tone for the Celts on defense and added 13 points and five assists as well as a couple of crucial, fourth quarter buckets. Kevin Garnett added 19 points and nine rebounds, Jeff Green showed up big time 16 points and six boards and Jared Sullinger continued to play like a beast down low, scoring 10 points, grabbing five rebounds, drawing a couple of charges and leading the team with a plus-nine.

The Knicks were undone by a terrible shooting performance by Carmelo Anthony who needed 25 shots to score 20 points. The Celts, who had a tough time defending the perimeter in the first half, really buckled down in that regard after halftime.

For more on the game from the Knicks perspective, hit up Posting and Toasting

Final - 1.7.2013 1 2 3 4 Total
Boston Celtics 22 31 23 26 102
New York Knicks 21 35 16 24 96

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