Deep hole: Sloppy C’s in 3-0 hole after Knicks shoot their way to another win
|04.26.13 at 10:33 pm ET|
The Celtics committed 18 turnovers and the Knicks turned that into 24 points while Carmelo Anthony scored 26 to lead the Knicks to a 90-76 win in Game 3 Friday night at TD Garden. The Knicks were blazing hot from 3-point range, hitting 11-of-26 attempts from beyond the arc in taking a commanding 3-0 hole in the series.
The Knicks outscored the Celtics, 24-8, in points off turnovers while Jeff Green led all Boston scorers with 21 points. Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 17 rebounds while Paul Pierce had 17 points for the Celtics, who have yet to break 80 points in three games in the series. It is the worst offensive output in Celtics’ playoff history.
J.R. Smith, who scored 15 off the bench, was called for a “Flagrant 2″ foul with just over seven minutes left in the game. He was ejected for throwing an elbow in the face of Jason Terry.
The Celtics shooting woes from the second half of Game 2 continued early on in Game 3. The shot just 34.8 percent in the first quarter while the Knicks came out on fire from long distance.
The tone of the game was set in the first 15 seconds of the game. The Celtics won the tip and Pierce broke free under the basket for a layup. He missed the shot. Garnett missed the easy put-back and Avery Bradley missed a wide-open three from the right baseline.
Pablo Prigioni got the Knicks long-distance game going in the first quarter, hitting a pair of threes as the Knicks held a 23-18 lead after one.
In between the first and second quarter, the Garden crowd gave a standing ovation to first responders, police and other heroes who assisted victims and helped the community through the Boston Marathon tragedies of a week earlier. It was Boston’s first home game in 16 days and the first Celtics game since the Boston Marathon bombings of April 15.
When the game resumed in the second half, New York continued their torrid shooting. The Knicks shot 10-of-18 while Boston converted just 6-of-17 shots and were outscored 24-13 in the quarter as the Knicks took a 47-31 halftime lead.
Raymond Felton’s free throw with just over two minutes left in third gave New York its biggest lead at 65-46. Green came back with a three-point play to cut the lead back to 16. But the Celtics allowed Kenyon Martin to slam home a rebound on the next possession.
The Knicks kept their stronghold on the game for the rest of the third. They maintained their 16-point halftime lead, taking a 68-52 advantage into the final 12 minutes.
Steve Novak hit an open 3-pointer from the left wing with 10:13 left, giving the Knicks a 73-54 lead. The Knicks built their lead to 21 before Smith swung an elbow in the direction of Terry with 7:06 left. The Celtics cut the lead down to 14, 80-66, on a Green 3-point play, with 6:20 left.
The Celtics got as close as 13 in the final three minutes but a Felton 18-footer put the Knicks up, 86-71, with 2:32 left and sent most for the exits of TD Garden.
The Celtics will try to stave off elimination and a sweep on Sunday afternoon in Game 4 at TD Garden. The Celtics haven’t been swept in a postseason series since 2004 by Indiana. The Pacers were also the last team to beat the Celtics in the first round in 2005.
For complete coverage from Mike Petraglia and Ben Rohrbach at the Garden, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.