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Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thank you New York, you've all been great
In terms of perfect scenarios for Game 3 against the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics couldn't have been much more successful.
Not only did the Cs roll to a 113-96 win, for a 3-0 series lead, but they finally showed the killer instinct needed to sweep an inferior team that is banged up and sputtering.
The Miami Heat will likely close out the Philadelphia 76ers today in a sweep so Boston needs to get done with the Knicks as soon as possible. By stepping on their throats last night at Madison Square Garden, it's unlikely that the Knicks will do much of anything tomorrow in Game 4.
It's hard to know where to start with Boston's great performance. Paul Pierce scored a game-high 38 points on a ridiculous 14 for 19 shooting (including six 3-pointers). Ray Allen added 32 points (eight 3-pointers) and Rajon Rondo had a triple double: 15 points, 20 assists (a Celtics playoff record) and 11 rebounds.
With Chauncey Billups out again and Amare Stoudemire (7 points) extremely limited due to back spasms, New York didn't stand much of a chance as the Celtics shot the lights out in New York's first home playoff game in seven years.
All you need to know is that Shawne Williams was the Knicks leading scorer with 17 points off the bench. Carmelo Anthony and Toney Douglas added 15 points while Jared Jeffries (12 points) and Roger Mason (10 points) put up some points in garbage time.
The Celtics got off to a 22-5 lead to start the game. The Knicks initially responded but they just didn't have the horses to play their no defense, all offense flawed gameplan that has never been proven to work in the playoffs.
Boston's bench still was invisible. Jeff Green (9 points) and Glen Davis (4 points) were the only Celtics to score off the bench. In the next round, that has to improve or they'll bounced by the Heat.
The Celtics were up 27-20 after the first quarter and 52-44 at halftime. The third quarter is when Boston took the MSG crowd out of it (34-19) and slammed the door shut on court jester Spike Lee. New York outscored Boston 33-27 in the fourth but it was long over by then.
For the game, Boston shot 50.6% to 43.4%. The Celtics (Pierce and Allen) hit five more 3-pointers than the Knicks (14-9) while New York hit six more free throws (21-15). Boston grabbed 10 more rebounds (43-33) and dished out 13 more assists (31-18). The Celts also made three more steals (12-9) while the Knicks blocked three more shots (7-4). Boston had five more fast break points (11-6) while New York had six more points in the paint (30-24).
I can't think of a better way to celebrate Easter then by watching the Celtics sweep the Knicks tomorrow afternoon at MSG. One more decent effort should be enough to get by the checked out Knicks.