Playing without Rajon Rondo  — due to the point guard’s one-game suspension — the Celtics  beat the Knicks, 102-96, Monday night at Madison Square Garden. It marked only the Celts’ second three-game winning streak of the season.
The Celtics have now beaten the Knicks — who lost just their fourth Eastern Conference matchup in 18 tries this season — in 19 of the teams’ last 23 meetings.
Filling in for Rondo was Avery Bradley , who finished with 13 points and five assists. Leading the offense for the Celtics was Paul Pierce , whose three-pointer :46 helped seal the deal for the visitors. Pierce finished with 23 points.
Helping matters for the Celtics was a horrific shooting performance by New York’s Carmelo Anthony, who had scored at least 40 points in two of his last three games and averaged 30 points in each of his past four contests against Boston. This time, Anthony shot just 6-of-26 from the floor, finishing with 20 points.
The win boosts the Celtics’ record to .500 (17-17). It was also just the Knicks fourth home loss of the season.
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