The New York Knicks‘ front court set the tone early on against the Celtics, and prevented Boston from settling into their comfort zone, offensively.
Knicks forward Derrick Williams‘ 19 points and 5 rebounds led the way for the Knicks in a 101-95 win over the Celtics. The Celtics struggled to get into an offensive rhythm. Although the Celtics shot just under 40 percent, the Knicks defended well in the paint and forced the Celtics to turn the ball over in the second half. The Celtics managed to make a late comeback in the fourth quarter but it came up short after the Knicks knocked down back-to-back three-pointers.
James Young scored 8 of 10 points in the fourth quarter. Seeing him score is always a good sign, this was easily his best game of the preseason.
Stud of the night: Isaiah Thomas
In only his second start in a Celtics uniform, Isaiah Thomas shot 5-for-9 for 13 points and dished out 5 assists in 24 minutes. He made two three-pointers and knocked down most of his shots in transition. The Celtics offense was at its best in transition against the Knicks, and Thomas was a big part of that. But in the second half, when it came to driving to the hoop and inside scoring the Knicks’ front court defense made stops and prevented the Celtics from scoring in the paint.
Dud of the night: Kelly Olynyk
After a solid outing against the Nets, Kelly Olynyk struggled offensively against the Knicks. New York contested his jump shots and forced Olynyk to take off-balanced attempts. He went 1-for-7 and finished with a measly 2 points, 3 rebounds in 11:49. Olynyk has played well early on throughout the preseason but much like his teammates Amir Johnson, David Lee and Jared Sullinger; he just couldn’t find an offensive groove against the New York’s Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn and Lance Thomas.
Vine of the night
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Coach Brad Stevens was handed just his second tech of his NBA career after a justifiable no-call in the second half after Knicks guard Cleanthony Early made contact with Tyler Zeller’s fast-break dunk. Stevens didn’t think twice when he stepped onto the court to plead his case. I agree coach, that was a foul.
Always great to see Stevens riled up.
Whine of the night
In his best game of the preseason, so far, Jared Sullinger only scored 5 points against the Knicks but managed to pull down 10 rebounds. Knicks forward Kyle O’Quinn may have given Sully the ounce of motivation he needed to grab 10 boards. O’Quinn tossed Sully around the paint and made every layup attempt difficult for Jared. He also earned a flagrant foul after sending Sullinger to the floor in the third quarter. It’s a great sign to see Sullinger grab 10 rebounds, however, 1-for-8 from the floor and going 3-for-6 from the free throw line isn’t going to fly for a guy who was considered one of the Celtics’ biggest scoring threat and is entering his fourth NBA
Stat of the night
The Celtics had 18 turnovers, while the Knicks only had 7. When the Knicks opened up a double-digit lead in the second half, the Celtics responded with a run in the third quarter. But after things got chippy between the two teams (O’Quinn’s flagrant foul), the Celtics made bad passes and committed a number of turnovers that led to an 88-80 fourth quarter lead by the Knicks.