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Marcus Smart impresses in Celtics' 99-85 win over the Knicks

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics avenged their Oct. 16 loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday night, beating the 'Bockers 99-85.

Ball movement was at premium for Boston, especially during the first half where the Celtics were able to record an assist on 16 of their 23 made field goals.

And while a lot of players made the right plays, Marcus Smart was the catalyst behind the team's efficient passing, notching eight first-half assists versus just one turnover which ended up being a carry.

Jared Sullinger was better tonight as well.

After struggling in the first quarter, Sully broke out during the second and sparked what would eventually become a 22-6 Celtics run.

He wasn't particularly great from the free throw line (4-of-10), but, at this point, all Boston wants to see is Sullinger make a positive impact whenever he takes the floor, something he had trouble doing the last handful of games. Tonight's 16 points and seven boards should serve as a confidence boost for the big man.

The Celtics will play their seventh and final game of the preseason tomorrow night against the Philadelphia 76ers in Manchester, NH.

Next Wednesday, the real fun begins.

Other Notes

- Carmelo Anthony struggled in 27 minutes of floor time and Jae Crowder was a big reason for that. Crowder's tight perimeter defense held Anthony to eight points on a dismal 4-of-18 shooting from the floor.

- Knicks 2015 first-round pick Kristaps Porzingis made his debut against the Celtics but was largely ineffective. He picked up his third foul early in the second quarter and finished with eight points and eight rebounds—most of which came late in the fourth.

- Avery Bradley left the game in the third quarter due to a bruised right shin sustained after he dove into the stands chasing down a loose ball. It would be surprising if Bradley played in tomorrow's preseason finale, but there shouldn't be any reason he misses the regular season opener next week.

- Isaiah Thomas (shin) and Kelly Olynyk (rest) did not play.