Knicks flop in fourth

Perhaps the New York Knicks watched too much March Madness over the weekend. In the college game, the teams play 40 minutes of regulation. The Knicks put forth a great effort for the first 40 minutes of Monday's game against the Boston Celtics, but they did not stick around for the final eight minutes that has to be played in the pro game.

Chauncey Billups made an unlikely four-point play with 7:26 remaining, giving the Knicks an 82-73 lead and all the momentum. But from that point on, it was all Boston. The Celtics outscored the Knicks 23-4 over the final 7:26, as they shot 9-for-13 from the floor to the Knicks' 1-for-11. Over that stretch, six Knicks missed at least one FG attempt, while five Celtics made at least one FG attempt.

The only Celtics to miss a shot over the final 7:26 were Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo,; however, each player recorded a steal over that same stretch to help account for the Celtics 3:0 turnover ratio during the run. All three steals led to a bucket for the Celtics, who were well on their way to a double-digit win that appeared unlikely.

  • Keeping pace with the Celtics in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls recorded a 40-point win over the Sacramento Kings. The Bulls clinch their first 50-win season since 1997-98, which is also the last time they won the NBA Finals.

  • The San Antonio Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors at home ... again. That's the 26th straight home win for the Spurs over the Warriors. Golden State hasn't won in San Antonio since Valentine's Day in 1997, a game started by ESPN's Chris Mullin. Tim Duncan was coming off a game in which he had 18 points and 16 rebounds -- a home game against Clemson while he was playing for Wake Forest!

  • Dwight Howard had an unbelievable line for the Orlando Magic in their win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had 28 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and four steals in the 11-point victory. The last player to achieve those numbers in a single game was Hakeem Olajuwon on March 3, 1990, against the Warriors. The Dream recorded 29 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists, 11 blocks and five steals in that contest for the third quadruple-double in NBA history.