After a bit of a break, the Celtics got back into action at home tonight against the New York Knicks. It was finally the offensive explosion the team has been looking for as they defeat the Knicks 128-100. Tonight was one of their best offensive games of the season with everything being executed well on Boston’s end. It was a group effort has the Celtics had players in double figures.
The Celtics went with the same starting five as the past few games with Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris getting the nod. It was again a nice change of pace with Jaylen Brown returning from his three-game absence off the bench. He and Gordon Hayward staggered out the minutes where everyone knew their role better.
The game opened up with the Celtics looking like themselves again. Everyone was contributing early on with the team starting out hot. The first six-minute Boston shot 10/15, and Kyrie Irving scored 9 points of his own early in the quarter. Then, the bench entered with Brown and Hayward. Hayward continued his hot hand and hit his first three after his 30-point game against the Timberwolves.
The quarter ended with a scare with Aron Baynes going back to the locker room after an injury to his ankle. He did not return for the rest of the game. The Knicks matched the Celtics impressive quarter shooting 12/19 for themselves. Kyrie led all scorers with nine points. The Celtics led after the first, 38-30.
Hayward leads the break and finds Brown for a dunk! pic.twitter.com/zwe5CghP12— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 7, 2018
The offense did not slow down in the second quarter with Terry Rozier hitting back-to-back threes on his first attempts on the night. Jaylen Brown’s return was the highlight early on beginning 4/6 from the field and 4-4 from the line. His shot selection was better than we have seen this year while all of his field goals were focused around the basket. New York could not keep with the Celtics as Boston cracked down on defense including two blocks by Al Horford. It was one of the best offensive halves all year for the Celtics scoring 69 points. They led the Knicks 69-58 at halftime.
When the Celtics are clicking on offensive, it is a sight to behold. That is exactly how the second half began, and it is just fun to watch. The crisp passing and fluid movement is something that the fan base has waited for all year long. Even with the Celtics looking like the much better team through the game, the Knicks kept it close through the bulk of the third quarter after hitting important threes keeping their deficit in the around single digits until Boston eventually stretched it by the end. Al Horford earned his season high in rebounds at the closing minutes of the third. He had 19 points and 11 rebounds with 4 blocks as well. The Celtics grew their lead to 99-84 at the end of the 3rd.
Starting the fourth quarter, Boston kept the pressure up on both ends of the court not letting the Knicks have a chance to get back into the game. The bench unit stayed in the game for the major stretch until around the six-minute mark where Kyrie and Al come back in the game to completely close the door. Then, a fantastic possession leads to a Terry Rozier three-pointer grew the lead to 17 points and put this game to bed. The downside is right after this play Kyrie appeared to hurt his right shoulder. Not a good look in a 17-point lead.
Great passing gives Rozier the wide open triple! pic.twitter.com/7mAJIEjioq— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 7, 2018
With all said and done, the Celtics win this one over the Knicks 128-100. It was a great shooting night all around with the Celtics shooting 53.3%. The Knicks were held to only 39.6% from the field. The stat of the game was the fast break points which the Celtics dominated 26-7. Boston kept it aggressive all night long and it paid off for a solid win at home. Next up for the Celtics are the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.