BOSTON — The last time the Boston Celtics saw the New York Knicks, Trey Burke was carving them up for 29 points in a Knicks win at TD Garden.
Thursday night went a little differently on the parquet floor.
Boston stormed out to an early lead behind Kyrie Irving and some hot shooting and the Knicks never were able to recover, as the C’s strolled to a 128-100 win at TD Garden.
The Celtics got contributions from almost everyone on the roster. Irving tied for the game-high with 22 points, while Jaylen Brown (21), Al Horford (19), Jayson Tatum (17), Terry Rozier (11), Marcus Morris (10) and Daniel Theis (10) also scored in double figures.
With the win, the Celtics improve to 14-10, while the Knicks fall to 8-18.
Here’s how it all went down.
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Al Horford
Boston opened the first quarter by shooting 66 percent from the floor in the opening five minutes to take an early 14-9 lead.
The Celtics’ lead oscillated between three and seven for most of the period. The Knicks threatened to grab the lead late in the stanza as a Mitchell Robinson dunk cut the C’s advantage to 30-27. But the Celtics closed the quarter on an 8-3 run, getting four points from Theis, two from Gordon Hayward and two from Brown to take a 38-30 lead into the second quarter.
Irving led all scorers with nine points, while Tatum and Brown each netted seven. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter paced the Knicks with six apiece.
The Celtics got some bad news in the quarter as Aron Baynes left the game with a sprained ankle and did not return.
CELTICS EXTEND THE LEAD
The Knicks made a run to open the second quarter, as Kevin Knox scored five points in the first 2:26 of the frame to cut the lead to three. But Boston quickly answered with Rozier drilling back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to 49-40 with 8:36 left in the half.
The Celtics’ lead sat at five with a little over three to play when Boston made an end-of-the-half push. First, Smart drove into the paint and found Horford for an alley-oop. After a Hardaway missed jumper, Tatum got into the lane and hit Horford with a slick pass under the hoop for an and-1 to push the C’s edge to eight.
The two sides traded baskets to end the half, as the Celtics took a 69-58 lead into the locker room.
Tatum and Brown were the high men in the half with 12 points each, while Kanter and Noah Vonleh led New York with 10 points apiece.
MORE OF THE SAME
Neither side could gain much of an edge to start the third quarter. The Celtics grew their lead to 14 to open the stanza but the Knicks were able to battle back and cut the deficit to 87-79 with under five to play in the frame.
The Celtics held off New York’s rally, though, finishing the quarter on a 12-5 run. With Boston leading by seven with 3:04 left in the third, Horford grabbed a defensive rebound and slung an outlet pass to Irving. The star guard sprinted up court, stopped on a dime and drilled a triple to push the lead back to double digits.
Boston held a 99-84 lead after three quarters. Irving was the high man with 20 points through three, while Horford posted 19. Emmanuel Mudiay and Hardaway paced the Knicks with 17 apiece.
NO COMEBACK IN THE CARDS
The fourth quarter largely was without drama as the Celtics’ lead never dipped below the 10-point mark in the final frame. Each time the Knicks threatened to make a run, Boston was able to answer, with Rozier’s 3-pointer at the 4:30 mark that stretched the lead to 17 serving as the final dagger.
PLAY OF THE GAME
The Celtics will hit the court Saturday when they visit the Chicago Bulls. Tip-off from United Center is set for 8 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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