By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
On a night where the Celtics did not hit a three until the third quarter (0-13 in the first half), defense needed to play large in beating the Carmelo Anthony-Kirstaps Porzingis led Knicks.
Thankfully defense is what this Celtics team, when they have their head on straight, does best.
The green held Melo to just 4-16 shooting and ended up with just 16 points in his 97-89 loss to Boston.
Brad Steven’s crew held New York to just 37% shooting on the night and turned many Knick miscues on offense to create some of their own.
The Knicks made a game of it in the final minutes of the fourth quarter bringing the Celtic lead down to as low as four, but the green bounced back and a mid-range jumper by Isaiah Thomas (20 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds) put the lead back up to double digits.
- Tyler Zeller had one of his best games in recent memory coming off the bench and recording a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
- Zeller was also a team high plus-11 in 27 minutes off the bench.
- Kelly Olynyk had an efficient night shooting the ball going 5-8 from the floor with 13 points.
- Jae Crowder, who was battling a shin injury, came out playing lock down defense on Melo and also chipping in on offense scoring 16 points.
- Evan Turner was the other Celtic to have a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds). The guard also had some highlight plays passing and handling the basketball.
The Celtics are back on the court tonight when they tip off against the Detroit Piston at TD Garden.