|Fast Break: Celtics – Knicks||04.06.10 at 10:20 pm ET|
Nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, even when it’s a 48-win team taking on a team with 49 losses.
After jumping out to a 4-0 lead, the Celtics were outscored 10-2 by a Knicks squad determined to run the court. Kevin Garnett was the only Celtics to score in the first 6:53 (8 points). The C’s trailed 14-8 before Ray Allen drained a 3-pointer to get on the board. As the veterans fought to get the Celtics back in the game, the Knicks were powered by former Celtic Bill Walker and Earl Barron (see below). The Knicks led, 27-21, after the first quarter.
Doc Rivers turned to the bench to start the second quarter, including Nate Robinson who checked in late in the first. (Amid talks of playoff rotations, Robinson played eight minutes in the first half.) The second unit outscored the Knicks, 12-8, to pull within two points before the starters checked back in. Kendrick Perkins tied the game up at 40 apiece with five minutes to go, and the game transformed into a back-and-forth battle.
The Celtics trailed by one, 53-52, at halftime. After two quarters, Barron posted 13 points and 8 rebounds. Allen led all scorers with 14 points. Garnett scored 12 points off of 6-for-9 shooting.
In the third quarter, Danilo Gallinari took the Knicks’ three-point lead and ran away with it. He scored 19 points in the quarter off a combination of free throws, layups, and jumpshots. Even though the Celtics tied the game, 65-65, the Knicks pulled away on a 15-6 run. The Knicks led 86-78 after the third.
The Celtics opened the fourth quarter on a quick 7-0 run. They reclaimed the lead, 88-86, off of a Michael Finley 3-pointer. Robinson added an energetic 5 points and assist in the first six minutes. But this was only the beginning of a shot-for-shot duel down the stretch. Even though the Celtics outscored the Knicks, 23-18, in the final quarter, they were unable to overcome their previous deficits. The game went down to the wire (see Turning Point below) before the Knicks prevailed, 104-101.
Gallinari led all players with 31 points. Ray Allen led the Celtics with 17.
Turning Point: After officials recalled a Danilo Gallinari 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, Paul Pierce turned the ball over on a bad pass. Chris Duhon stole the ball and David Lee connected for the game-winning layup. The Celtics failed to attempt a shot on their final possession.
Player of the Game: Danilo Gallinari scored a game-high 31 points, but Earl Barron set the tone early for the Knicks. He posted 17 points and 18 rebounds in just his second game with his team.
- Who is Earl Barron? Barron, 28, signed a 10-day contract with the Knicks last week. The undrafted center has appeared in nearly as many games in the NBA Development League as the NBA. He has played for the Miami Heat as well as several D-League teams. Barron scored 10 points in his Knicks debut on Saturday.
- Former Celtics Watch: Bill Walker posted 10 points and three rebounds in 28 minutes. J.R. Giddens added 4 points and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes.
- Six of the eight Knicks who played scored in double digits. Five out of 11 Celtics scored more than 10 points.
- The Celtics were outrebounded, 44-34. Lee and Barron combined for 27.
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