After losing to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden last Friday night, the Celtics avenged their defeat by beating New York, 99-85. The C’s took control early in the first half by being aggressive offensively and never allowing the Knicks to settle into their halfcourt defense.
Tyler Zeller had the kind of offensive production that earned him a starting job last season, scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting and pulling down five rebounds. His great hands caught nearly every pass thrown his way, allowing him to finish around the hoop for easy buckets.
Jose Calderon (17 points, 8 rebounds) led the way for the Knicks, but the Knicks struggled offensively and couldn’t get All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony going.
For a complete box score, click here. For a breakdown beyond the box, read on.
Stud of the night: Jared Sullinger
Sullinger had a stellar night, filling the stat sheet with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. He fought for most of his points in the paint, where he also grabbed rebounds and played solid defense against the Knicks. When he battled inside more often, he was able to make his layups or draw contact and earn trips to the foul line. Sullinger just has to do a better job at making those free throws. He went 4-for-10 from the charity stripe, but that was the only part of his game that prevented him from having a spectacular night.
Dud of the night: Carmelo Anthony
It was Jae Crowder versus Anthony, and Crowder reigned victorious in this bout. Crowder not only put together a solid statistical game (13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists), but also pestered Anthony all night. The Knicks star scored eight points on 18 shots — all when Crowder wasn’t defending him — and never got into a rhythm. It was a great battle for Crowder.
Isaiah Thomas (tendinitis) and Kelly Olynyk (rest) did not play. No word yet if either will make the trip up to Manchester, N.H., where the Celtics will take on the Toronto Raptors Friday night in their preseason finale.