The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 123-110 in their penultimate preseason game, dropping the previous matchup between the two clubs.

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters before the game he planned on having Boston’s starters play more regular-season minutes in preparation for the season opener on Oct. 25.

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White and Kristaps Porzingis got the nod for Boston, leaving one-time starter Al Horford in a bench-playing role.

Horford logged 23 minutes off the bench, grabbing three rebounds to go with his eight points and three assists. The 6-foot-9 center also blocked one shot.

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“I thought (Al Horford) did a great job,” Mazzulla told reporters after the Celtics win, per team-provided video. “I think Al’s the kind of guy where it really doesn’t matter what he does. He’s going to be ready to play. He’s going to do what’s best for the team.”

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Mazzulla added: “Regardless if he’s starting or not, Al is a critical piece to our team and our locker room. He seems to be the guy that always makes the right play on both ends of the floor and we can’t take that for granted.”

With the Celtics bringing in Porzingis in the blockbuster three-team trade that sent Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies, Horford will most likely come off the bench with Sam Hauser and Payton Pritchard.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images