Pierce, Rondo carry Celtics past Knicks
Paul Pierce scored 34 points and point guard Rajon Rondo had a spectacular triple-double as the host Boston Celtics held off visiting the New York Knicks 115-111 in overtime for their fourth consecutive victory. Rondo scored 18 points, handed out 20 assists and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds for his second triple-double in three games and fourth of the season as the Celtics beat the Knicks for the 13th consecutive time at home. Rondo sparked a 7-0 spurt in overtime to put Boston in control and became only the second player in NBA history (Jason Kidd twice) to have a 15-point, 15-assist, 15-rebound game. Pierce forced the game into overtime with a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds to play after the Knicks had stormed back from a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter. Kevin Garnett added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who haven’t lost to the Knicks at home since Nov. 24, 2006. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 25 points, including six in a 96-second span to help New York take a 103-100 lead with 18 seconds left in regulation. Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, playing in the shadow of where he starred collegiately at Harvard, was a non-factor for most of the game but came on late. He finished with 14 points, five assists and six turnovers but was overmatched in the point guard duel against Rondo. Amar’e Stoudemire added 16 points and 13 rebounds for New York, which lost to Boston for the second time in three meetings this season. The Celtics trailed by five points at halftime, but Pierce scored 15 points in the third quarter as Boston surged ahead with a 25-5 run to build an 80-65 lead. The Knicks kept the game from getting out of reach by scoring the final seven points to cut the deficit to 80-72 entering the fourth. GAME NOTEBOOK: Rondo is the only player in the league with multiple triple-doubles this season. … Knicks F Bill Walker will undergo a surgical procedure to remove damaged tissue from his left elbow. He is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks. … Celtics C Jermaine O’Neal missed his fifth consecutive game with a wrist injury. He is mulling treatment options, which could include season-ending surgery.