The New York Knicks continued their near flawless play tonight, beating the Boston Celtics 90-76 to take a 3-0 lead in the first round, marking their first playoff road victory since 2000. The Celtics had an opportunity to defend their home floor, but the Knicks shattered those hopes from the start. Since the NBA made a switch to the seven-game-series format, teams are 0-103 all-time, leaving the Celtics with little hope to make a comeback. Their is no doubt in my mind, New York’s recent regular season tear has obviously transcended into the playoffs.
The Celtics are averaging a horrendous 75 points per game this series, a number that wouldn’t come close to keeping up with the Knicks. I honestly believed Boston would claw out a win either tonight or in game four, but tonight has confirmed the dominance and control of their series at hand. Paul Pierce did everything he could to keep the Celtics in the game, scoring 11 third quarter points and playing over 40 minutes, but his effort simply couldn’t cut it. They did manage to keep the game within reach for a majority of the contest, but the Knicks blew the game wide-open in the third quarter. Jeff Green did chip in 21 points and nine rebounds, and Kevin Garnett tallied a game high 17 rebounds, but the Knicks are hitting on all cylinders right now.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring, finishing with 26 points on 12-25 shooting from the field. Once again, the New York backcourt has came through tremendously tonight, spear-headed by Raymond Felton finishing with 15 points and 10 assists on an efficient 7-14 shooting from the field. Improving his record to 17-2 this season as a starter, Pablo Prigioni gave the Knicks a massive boost in the first half, scoring all of his nine points by connecting on three three-pointers. Prigioni’s late spark helped give the Knicks a crowd quieting 16 point lead going into the half.
Their was one disappointment for the Knicks tonight, when JR Smith managed to get ejected with around 7:00 minutes remaining in the game, as it looked like he swung an intentional elbow in Jason Terry’s direction. JR should be thankful this occurrence didn’t have a negative impact on the game tonight, and he must open eyes and realize this is the post-season, and how important he is to New York’s success going forward. Regardless, the Knicks led by as much as 21 points tonight.
What’s Next - The New York Knicks will be aiming to execute their first sweep in a seven-game-series since they beat the Atlanta Hawks in 1999. Remaining at TD Garden, game four will be held on Sunday, April 28th, with the tip-off at 1:00 p.m.
KNICKS LEAD 3-0