The New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics for the second time this week in a 108-89 rout for their eighth straight win. The Knicks were led by Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.
The Knicks jumped out to an early lead Sunday against the Celtics and never looked back to give Boston their sixth loss in their last eight games. The win secures the Knicks first winning record against the Celtics in a season since 2003-04, and Anthony recognized his team’s play after the game.
“At this point of the season, we’re playing extremely well,” Anthony said in the locker room after the big win. “You just take it one game at a time, one day at a time, and things will start falling your way.”
Chris Copeland added 22 points off the bench for the Knicks, including going a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc. J.R. Smith finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds as the win brought the Knicks into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with the Indiana Pacers.
The Celtics fell to seventh in the conference with the loss Sunday and are practically out of the Atlantic Division race. The Celtics have won the Atlantic Division each year since the 2007-08 season.
Paul Pierce finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds in the loss while Jeff Green added a game-high 27 points. The Celtics fell behind early in the first half as the Knicks shot over 50 percent from the field and jumped out to a 65-48 halftime lead after Felton hit a buzzer-beater to end the second quarter.
The Knicks were without Tyson Chandler for the 10th straight game due to a bulging disk in his neck and Amare’ Stoudemire has been out since early March after having knee surgery. The Celtics were also without one of their key big men, as Kevin Garnett has now missed the last five games due to left ankle inflammation.
The Knicks are rolling, but the true test will come Tuesday on the road against the Miami Heat, who are coming off their longest win streak of all-time at 27-games. With only three weeks left in the season, the Knicks are looking to reach 50 wins in a season for the first time since the 1999-00 season when they finished with a 50-32 record before losing in the conference final to the Indiana Pacers.
New York has lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs each of the last two seasons but are on their way to their first Atlantic Division title since 1993-94 and are currently playing as well as anybody in the league. Can the Knicks get to 50 wins before the regular season ends and contend for an NBA Championship in the upcoming playoffs?
[Image via Keith Allison]