The Knicks are in Boston on Tuesday night with two goals in mind: create further separation with their longtime rivals and win their fifth straight game.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Here are a few things to keep an eye on:
WILL TYSON PLAY? Tyson Chandler's status will be a game-time decision. The Knicks are 4-2 since Chandler went down with neck and knee injuries. Chandler said Monday he still has some pain in his neck and that he did not want to rush back and risk re-injury.
Kenyon Martin has filled in nicely for Chandler. The 35-year-old veteran has averaged 14.3 points and 7.5 rebounds and has hit 75 percent of his shots during the Knicks' four-game winning streak.
Kevin Garnett (ankle) will not play for Boston.
PLAYOFF PREVIEW? If the season ended before the start of Tuesday's games, New York would play Atlanta in the first round. The Knicks are just a half-game behind Indiana, though, so if they leapfrogged the Pacers, they'd play the seventh-place Celtics in the first round.
"That’s a team that you can’t take lightly. They’re playoff-driven," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said of the Celtics. "They won a title and they know what it’s like to be deep into the playoffs. So we’ll have our hands full if that’s the team that we have to play."
Boston has won the past five Atlantic Division titles. The Knicks last won a division crown in 1993-94. The Celtics also swept the Knicks in the first round of the 2011 playoffs.
PIERCE VS. MELO: In his past 13 games against the Knicks, Celtics star Paul Pierce is scoring 27.8 points per game on 52.9 percent shooting. He hit an eye-popping 49 percent from beyond the arc over that span.
Carmelo Anthony is averaging 28.1 points in his past eight games against Boston. But the Knicks are 3-5 in that span.
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