Knicks win second game against Celtics
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK – Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers wanted fewer turnovers in Game 2.
He got that. Just 12 turnovers.
Rivers wanted better ball movement. He got some that, leading to balanced scoring: five players had at least nine points.
Rivers wanted to get center-forward Kevin Garnett more involved offensively, and he wanted to head back to Boston for Game 3 with the first-round Eastern Conference series against the New York Knicks even.
Rivers knows: You can’t always get you want.
The Knicks ran away from the Celtics with an impressive third quarter and wrapped up Game 2 with a 87-71 victory. New York takes a 2-0 series lead to Boston for Game 3 on Friday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).
It is the first time the Knicks have won consecutive playoff games since the 2000 conference finals against the Indiana Pacers.
The Knicks simply had too much firepower from All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton.
Anthony continues to play large in the most important playoffs of his career. He had 34 points, his second consecutive game with 30 or more. Fresh off his Sixth Man award, which was announced on Monday, J.R. Smith made his first four shots, including a deep buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the first quarter, and had 19 points. Felton scored 16 points.
New York was also highly efficient on three-pointers. While they didn’t take close to their league-leading 28.9 threes per game, the Knicks made 7-of-16.
In the first half, Boston shot 55.9% and led 48-42 at halftime. Celtics reserve guard Jason Terry, a former Sixth Man of the Year award winner (2008-09 had nine points on three-pointers in the first half.
But even with the Knicks shooting just 37.8%, they were down just six.
Any momentum Boston had disappeared at the start of the third quarter. The Knicks created separation, opening the second half with a 26-6 run for a 68-54 lead. During that span, the Knicks made 9-of-19 shots from field, including all three three-pointers, and the Celtics were 2-of-12.
The Celtics were also hampered by Garnett’s foul trouble and had trouble keeping him on the floor … [For more on New York Knicks take a 2-0 lead on Boston, click here.]