Rapid Reaction: Celtics 91, Knicks 89
February, 3, 2012
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: For the second straight night, the Knicks had the ball in their hands late in the game with a chance to beat a quality opponent. And for the second straight night, they came up short. On Friday, it was against the Chicago Bulls. On Saturday, it was against the Boston Celtics.
Bottom line: The Knicks (8-15) have lost five of six and 11 of 13.
THE BAD: New York struggled on offense with Toney Douglas on the floor late in the game, scoring just five points over a seven-minute stretch between late in the third and midway through the fourth. Over that span, the Knicks went from up 10 to tied at 77-77. One issue during the dry stretch? A lack of ball movement. New York's ball movement looked much improved throughout most of the first half, when the Knicks scored 55 points, but was stagnant with Douglas running the show.
Earlier in the game, Mike D'Antoni went with Jeremy Lin over Douglas as his first guard off the bench. It's a bit surprising that he didn't go back to Lin with the Knicks' offense struggling in the second half.
THREE FOR ALL: With the Knicks down one and 47 seconds to play, they inbounded to Carmelo Anthony, who found Iman Shumpert all alone in the corner for a 3-point attempt. The ball went off of the back rim. The Knicks made a defensive stand on the other end but appeared to allow Paul Pierce to hit a deep, off-balance jumper at the final second of the shot clock. Referees waived the shot off after it was determined that it left Pierce's hands too late.
On the Knicks' next possession, Landry Fields badly missed a corner three. After Pierce made one of two from the line, Steve Novak took a tough look from three on a play that never had a chance to develop. And that was the game.
ALLEN WRENCH: Ray Allen knocked down a 3-pointer with 4:24 to play to give Boston an 82-79 lead -- its first since the first quarter. The play came right after the Knicks disputed an out-of-bounds call that went against them. D'Antoni received a technical foul for arguing. Allen hit the free throw to put the Celtics up four.
Allen hit another three to put Boston up five with 2:47 to play.
THE GOOD: Tyson Chandler had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Amare Stoudemire had 16 and 11. Carmelo Anthony finished with 26.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks complete their only back-to-back-to-back of the season on Saturday at home against the Nets. Another night, another tough point guard matchup. After facing Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo in back to back nights, the Knicks will try to neutralize Deron Williams.
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