Recap: Celtics handle Knicks in Marcus Smart’s return, 100-91

By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully 

For most of the game, a Celtics victory was never really in doubt. Once the Knicks cut the C’s sizable lead down to 5 with 3 minutes to play in the fourth, however, things got a little worrisome for Brad Stevens and company.

It was at that point when Isaiah Thomas (21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists) scored 4 unanswered points on a driving layup and then a jumper to ensure the 100-91 win for the Celtics over New York.

This is Boston’s fourth consecutive win and are currently 2.5 games behind Cleveland for first in the Eastern Conference with LA and then a home-and-home series with the Nets next up.

Game Notes 

  • Marcus Smart made his return to the Celtics rotation for the first time since November 20th. In limited minutes off the bench, he had a solid night scoring 6 points to go with 3 rebounds and 1 assist.

  • Evan Turner scored 19 points in 30 minutes off the bench. He shot an efficient 8-11 from the floor and was involved in the rebounding game grabbing 5 boards.

  • Jae Crowder also had a very nice game and is starting to not only be that emotional anchor for the C’s, but also an anchor on the floor. He played great defense on Carmelo Anthony (29 points and 10 rebounds) and also was a factor on offense scoring 18 points and was a game high plus-14.

  • The Celtics did a nice job defensively against the Knicks only allowing them to hit 37% of their shots from the floor and 21% from three.
  • Kelly Olynyk came off the bench and again was a factor scoring 11 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in 21 minutes.
  • It will be interesting to see how Brad Stevens, who used 11 different players in the first 14 minutes of the game, will handle his rotations with Marcus Smart back and Olynyk playing at such a high level.

Next up for the Celtics is Kobe Bryant making his final stop in Boston with the Lakers on Wednesday.


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