Final, Celtics 110-106: It wasn’t pretty, but how many of them are these days? The bottom line is this: The Celtics shoot 56 percent from the floor and open a three-game homestand with their fourth win in five games.
Ray Allen leads Boston with 24 points. Rajon Rondo has 15 and 16 assists. Nate Robinson has four points and a pair of steals in his debut with the team.
We will see if Paul Pierce is well enough to go against Cleveland on Thursday, but don’t count on it. He may return against the Nets on Saturday or in Detroit next week. Regardless, we’ll follow things for you on Thursday when LeBron James leads his troops in for a pivotal Eastern Conference matchup.
Fourth quarter, 10.4 seconds, Celtics 109-106: The Knicks let a ton of time go off before committing a foul. The C’s will look to get it in to Ray Allen on the inbounds.
Fourth quarter, 31.8 seconds, Celtics 109-106: The Knicks do not need a 3-pointer here but you know they will not shy away from taking one if it’s there.
We know what Eddie House can do in these situations. And on the floor with him as we went to break were Wilson Chandler and Sergio Rodriguez, who are a combined 6-of-9 from long range.
Fourth quarter, 48.9, Celtics 109-106: Ray Allen with a great blocked shot to keep it a three-point game.
Fourth quarter,1:28, Celtics 109-106: Marquis Daniels slides into the lane with the best of them, always ready for a pass. He extends the lead to three on his latest cut.
Fourth quarter, 2:43, Celtics 107-106: Tracy McGrady just went around Kevin Garnett like he wasn’t even there and the Knicks are back within a point.
Fourth quarter, 4:22, Celtics 107-102: Rajon Rondo has tied his season high with 16 assists, the latest on a perfect bounce pass to Kendrick Perkins.
Fourth quarter, 5:30, Celtics 105-102: Doc Rivers said it before the game and he’s right — even with injuries and ineffectiveness, Paul Pierce’s presence makes a huge difference, especially down the stretch.
Let’s see how the Celtics manage their offensive sets without Pierce late in a tight game. For now Nate Robinson is staying out there with the starters.
Fourth quarter, 5:41, Celtics 105-102: This is our first taste of Nate Robinson and Rajon Rondo on the floor at the same time.
Fourth quarter, 7:14, Celtics 101-98: Sergio Rodriguez is turning out to be a thorn in the Celtics’ side. He has 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Fourth quarter, 8:24, Celtics 97-96: The offensive pace has pretty much slowed down, substituted out for some sloppy play.
Hard to tell what is frustrating the fans more — porous defense or turnovers. They’re getting a bit of both in this one.
Fourth quarter, 11:04, Celtics 96-94: Al Harrington opens the fourth with a 3-pointer to tie it and Ray Allen has a layup on the other end.
End of third quarter, Celtics 94-91: First to 130 points wins.
For those of you who were curious, the Celtics’ high this season is 122 points against Minnesota on Dec. 20. The most they have given up is 116 at Phoenix on Dec. 30.
Third quarter, 1:25, Celtics 91-84: Bill Walker showed his athleticism in the first half with two big dunks, and then knocks down a 3-pointer to cut it to three.
Walker’s seven points are a season high and one shy of his best career mark.
Third quarter, 3:09, Celtics 85-79: It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Celtics, this bastion of defense, will have more than 90 points entering the fourth quarter.
All five of their starters are in double figures after Marquis Daniels lays one in on the back end of Rajon Rondo’s 12th assist.
Third quarter, 5:45, Celtics 78-74: David Lee has 22 points, nine rebounds and two steals already, and every time I see him dominate like this I’m reminded of a scene from my past.
While working at a previous job in a newsroom in Connecticut, about 30 of us were watching the 2005 draft, in which the Knicks took Lee 30th overall. About half of the 30 workers were die-hard Knicks fans and the curses just spewed from their mouths when Lee’s name was announced.
Not one of them wanted him, and now Lee is an All-Star and one of the few bright spots in an otherwise sinking ship. Go figure.
Third quarter, 6:32, Celtics 76-74: The Knicks had 26 baskets all game in falling to the Bucks at home last night. They have 28 already in this one.
Third quarter, 7:21, Celtics 74-72: A little 8-2 run for the Celtics is followed up by a Sergio Rodriguez 3-pointer and a Celtics turnover. Looks like one of those games.
Third quarter, 10:45, Celtics 68-65: Just a side note here. With his next rebound Kevin Garnett will become the 20th player in NBA history to reach 12,000 for his career.
Third quarter, 11:55, Celtics 64-60: We are underway in the second half and undoubtedly Doc Rivers had a few things to say at halftime about defense.
Let’s see if those words sink in.
Halftime, Celtics 64-60: First things first – that dunk by Rajon Rondo was spectacular, but it’s also the second straight game he has done that. It’s just that the first one against Denver came after a whistle.
It’s part of a dominant offensive first half for the C’s, but one in which their defense remains a mystery.
Since completely stifling the Lakers down the stretch on Thursday night in the Staples Center, they have allowed opponents to score an average of 29.0 points per quarter over the last six.
The teams are shooting a combined 48-of-86 (55.8 percent) in this one, which looks little like the physical battle which ensued when these teams first met in November.
Second quarter, 1:44, Celtics 58-56: Good to see the Celtics get the ball inside to Kevin Garnett right there. They had 18 points in the paint in the first quarter but have chucked up a ton of outside shots in the second.
Second quarter, 2:49, Celtics 53-52: Ray Allen continues to shine for the Celtics. Amid an incredibly stagnant stretch for the offense, he takes it baseline with a strong drive, getting a chance to complete a three-point play after the timeout.
Allen has 15 points and is well on his way to reaching 20 for the fourth straight game.
Second quarter, 3:02, Knicks 52-51: With two free throws by David Lee, the Knicks, once down 13, have taken the lead.
Second quarter, 3:33, Celtics 51-48: The Knicks are on a 12-2 run and a game that seemed almost easy for the Celtics at one point is now just a one-possession affair.
Second quarter, 5:27, Celtics 51-39: Two points, two turnovers, an assist and steal and a rebound for Nate Robinson in his first six-plus minutes for the Celtics. He has been known to stuff the stat sheet from time to time and a good start on that end.
Second quarter, 6:40, Celtics 49-36: The crowd absolutely loves it when Nate Robinson finds Brian Scalabrine for a 3-pointer. Their new fan favorite and the old one teaming up.
Second quarter, 9:59, Celtics 44-31: Nate Robinson’s first points as a Celtic come on a baseline jumper, and follow up a pair of tough possessions which saw him get one shot blocked and lose the ball on another.
Second quarter,10:49, Celtics 40-31: Bill Walker told reporters he likes the way the Knicks play, as the shoot-early-and-often approach suits his game. Walker has a pair of dunks already, leaving him four points shy of his total with the Celtics.
End of first quarter, Celtics 38-27: The Celtics match their highest-scoring output this season by shooting 61 percent (14-of-23), handing out 11 assists and turning the ball over just once.
Ray Allen has 13 points and Rajon Rondo has seven assists, and the way the Knicks play defense they are sure to add plenty to those totals.
First quarter, 49.1 seconds, Celtics 36-24: Nate Robinson gets a big ovation as he enters for the first time.
First quarter, 1:45, Celtics 34-21: That’s what Glen Davis can do for you. He rips down an offensive board and finds Ray Allen for a 3-pointer as Boston opens up its largest lead.
Davis is really growing into his role as the season progresses.
First quarter, 2:33, Celtics 29-21: Maybe now Celtics fans will get a chance to see what Bill Walker can do. He just recorded his first points as a member of the Knicks on a high-flying one-hand jam that came out of nowhere.
Walker has the ability. He just needs the opportunity.
First quarter, 3:25, Celtics 27-19: Kevin Garnett has picked up his second foul on a drive by Wilson Chandler, who somehow threw the ball in despite the contact.
Bill Walker has made his first entrance for the Knicks, drawing tepid applause.
Included in this early onslaught by the Celtics is the first 3-pointer since Nov. 29 for Marquis Daniels. It is just his third from the arc all season.
First quarter, 5:33, Celtics 21-13: During the timeout, the crowd has come to its feet to honor Eddie House as a tribute video was shown on the big screen. Chants of “Eddie, Eddie” rained down upon the floor and House came out with a wave and a blown kiss to the fans.
He also greeted the C’s as they came on the floor and had fun with each of them in a little bit of trash talk.
First quarter, 7:10, Celtics 18-11: We may see the Celts score 200 points tonight. They are 8-of-9 from the floor and finding no issues whatsoever getting clean looks.
First quarter, 9:55, Celtics 8-4: While the action takes place on the court, Nate Robinson is in a constant dialogue with the Celtics assistant coaches.
Doc Rivers said before the game that Robinson had such a limited amount of preparation (one practice with no other players) that he still has a lot to learn. At one point in his “practice” on Monday, Robinson was laughing at all the defensive sets the C’s use, Rivers said.
First quarter, 11:55, 0-0: We are underway in what will be a most interesting affair.
Do not expect to see too much of Nate Robinson — maybe 10 to 15 minutes — but Eddie House is already a key component in Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni’s rotation and Bill Walker said before the game that he expects to get some time.
7:38 p.m.: Starting lineups are being introduced and it’s a bit odd not seeing Eddie House partake in the usual pre-game traditions that come with Celtics introductions (rolling the dice with Paul Pierce, bouncing off one another after intros are over, etc.).
But House is a shooter and he has to love his role with the Knicks. In two games with New York he has taken 30 shots! He got off 28 in his last four with the C’s.
7:13 p.m.: Starting lineups are in, but before we get to that there are plenty of scenes in the back halls of TD Garden that deserve mention.
Here are a few:
–Kevin Garnett leaning into Nate Robinson and giving him the low-down on how things go down in the Celtics’ locker room. Robinson was going over the playbook at the time and while Garnett’s words were hard to hear, they did have the trademark intensity attached.
–J.R. Giddens and Tony Allen hugging and laughing in the 20-foot stretch between opposing locker rooms.
–Eddie House offering Bill Walker half of his sandwich inside the Knicks’ locker room. Walker declining.
–Al Harrington calling out “Junior” to get Marcus Landry’s attention in the hall. The two embraced.
–Walt Frazier in a light blue pinstriped suit that only he can make work.
As mentioned earlier, Marquis Daniels will start in place of Paul Pierce, who may be out an extended period of time. Whatever it takes, Doc Rivers said.
“We need him back but we need him back healthy,” said Rivers, who acknowledged that he is prepared to be without Pierce for multiple games if that’s what it takes.
Alongside Daniels will be Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins.
Tracy McGrady is good to go for the Knicks after suffering a knee injury last night at home. He will be joined in the starting lineup by Sergio Rodriguez, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and David Lee. For Rodriguez, it is his second straight start after arriving from Sacramento in the three-team deal that landed McGrady.
Rodriguez had eight steals in Monday’s loss to Milwaukee, one shy of the team record.
6:50 p.m.: Just a quick update from the mouth of Doc Rivers. As expected, Paul Pierce will sit, but Marquis Daniels will get the start, his first as a Celtic.
Tony Allen had been the replacement when Pierce was out in a handful of games earlier this season.
5:24 p.m.: Greetings from the Garden, which seems almost foreign after a 15-day stretch between home games.
But we have plenty to talk about entering this one, and Nate Robinson will help get us started when he meets the media in just a few minutes.
I’ll be back with word from the little man, as well as comments from Eddie House and the other departed Celtics in the Knicks locker room.
4:16 p.m.: Eddie House in a Knicks uniform, Nate Robinson wearing the green and white of the Celtics and Paul Pierce and Tracy McGrady possibly in suits on the sidelines — all part of an interesting night at TD Garden when the C’s host New York.
House and Robinson were the key components in a five-player trade between these teams last week. While House has scored 34 points in two games for the Knicks thus far, Robinson has yet to make his Boston debut.Meanwhile, Pierce, who has struggled mightily of late, may rest his sore right thumb. McGrady, another deadline acquisition for New York, is questionable with a sore knee after playing just two games in Madison Square Garden.
Lurking beneath the new faces in new places is a one-sided rivalry that has seen the Green win 10 of the last 11 meetings and 26 of the last 33. Kevin Garnett’s jumper at the buzzer gave Boston a 107-105 overtime win in New York on Nov. 22.
Pierce and House combined for 43 points for the Celtics. Robinson had 19 off the bench for the Knicks.
We will have updates on the lineups and the take from the locker room right here leading up to the 7:30 p.m. tip.
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