Celtics Wrap: Marcus Smart Helps Boston Cruise To 99-85 Win Vs. Knicks

by NESN Staff

October 22, 2015

BOSTON — It’s just the preseason, but the Celtics are winning their fair share of basketball games.

The Celtics moved to 5-1 in their exhibition slate Thursday night by beating the New York Knicks 99-85 at TD Garden.

Isaiah Thomas (soreness) and Kelly Olynyk (rest) sat out for Boston, but the Celtics’ offense wasn’t deterred. Jared Sullinger led the way with 16 points, while Jonas Jerebko (13 points) and Tyler Zeller (15 points) also posted double-digit efforts.

Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, David Lee, Tyler Zeller

Marcus Smart.

Smart handled the bulk of the point guard duties Thursday night. He was up to the task and then some, dishing out a game-high nine assists in 26-plus minutes of action. He also added seven points, including this fancy finish on a three-point play:


Zeller got off to a scorching hot start to put the Celtics ahead early.

He poured in 11 points in the first quarter alone and finished with 15 points in just 19 minutes of playing time.

Carmelo Anthony was ice-cold in the first half, and he had the Celtics defense to thank.

Crowder, who often was tasked last season with guarding the opposition’s best player, started the game defending Anthony and helped limit the All-Star to six first-half points on 3-of-11 shooting.

One of Anthony’s misses came at the rim, courtesy of Amir Johnson:


Anthony finished the night with just eight points on 4-of-18 shooting in 31 minutes.

Brad Stevens finally gave Jared Sullinger some extended playing time, and the big man stepped up — for the most part.

Sullinger fought for loose balls and rebounds and played with high effort, finishing with a game-high 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a preseason-high 19 minutes.

He hit just four of his 10 free throw attempts, though, and racked up three fouls while also getting a technical foul for a defensive three-second violation.

Several Celtics fighting for rotation spots didn’t see much action.

Rookies R.J. Hunter and Jordan Mickey didn’t enter until the game’s final 15 minutes, while James Young and Perry Jones remained on the bench until late in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics play again Friday night, so there’s a good chance Stevens gives the young guys some more run in that contest.

The Celtics are back in action Friday night, taking on the Philadelphia 76ers in their preseason finale. The game will be played at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., and tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner (11), guard Marcus Smart (36), forward Amir Johnson (90), guard Terry Rozier (12) and forward Jared Sullinger (back) speak during the second half of a game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden.
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