The Boston Celtics shot 50.6% (42-83) from the floor and a sizzling 58.3% (14-24) from outside the arc as they beat up the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden Friday night by a final of 113-96. Paul Pierce knocked down a game high 38 points while Ray Allen added 32 more in the victory for the Celtics with Allen hitting eight treys for the night while Pierce connected on six three point shots.
New York was once again without veteran point guard Chauncey Billups who has a strained left knee and Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire both had disappointing performances with Anthony going 4-16 for the night for 15 points while Amar’e could only muster seven points for the night. Shawne Williams came off the bench with 17 points to lead the Knicks in the loss, as Boston goes up 3-0 in their first round Playoff series.
Unlike the first two games of the series this would be a one sided affair as the Celtics controlled the flow the entire contest and would just run away and hide in the third quarter. Boston set the tone in the first as Pierce hit a mid-range shot with 36 seconds left in the period and his team would be on top 27-20 at the end of the quarter. The Knicks would fall a bit further behind in the second but they would still be in striking distance as the game reached the half with the Celtics holding the advantage 52-44.
Boston would take the game over during the third as the Knicks inexplicably kept allowing Allen to be open from outside. New York also turned the ball over through out the period and they would trail at the end of the period 86-63. The fourth period was just 12 minutes of garbage time.
Pierce dropped 38 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 assist in the Celtics victory. Allen scored 32 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds and an assist while Rajon Rondo racked up a triple-double with 15 points, 20 assists, 11 rebounds and 2 steals.
Williams led the Knicks with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals while Anthony had a double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and a block. Toney Douglas scored 15 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds while Jared Jeffries added 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal. Roger Mason came off the bench and chipped in 12 points and had 2 assists. New York needs a victory to stay alive when the two teams meet for game four on Sunday.