The Boston Celtics became the first team to advance to the next round of the Playoffs Sunday as they defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden by a final margin of 101-89. The Celtics win their first round series 4-0 and now will advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. For the second straight contest Boston dominated the game from the opening tip; a sharp contrast to the battles waged between the two opponents in games one and two.
Kevin Garnett racked up a double-double with 26 points to lead the way to victory for the Celtics while Rajon Rondo also had a double-double as he knocked down 21 points for the afternoon. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 32 points while Amar’e Stoudemire added 19 but they would not get enough support from the rest of the roster to compete in this game. Chauncey Billups ended the season on the sidelines as he was still nursing a sprained left knee.
Boston controlled the flow of the game during the opening period and New York never really would regain their footing for the rest of the game. With 28 seconds left in the first Rondo drained an outside jumper putting the “Green Team” in control at the conclusion of the period 29-23. The Knicks offense went sour during the second quarter and the Celtics took full advantage of that in the period. When the game reached the half Boston would be on top with the scoreboard reading 55-38.
New York would finally find their shooting touch in the third period as they scored almost as many points in the quarter as they had during the first 24 minutes of play. However they would still trail by double digits at the end of the third with the Celtics in the lead at 82-72. The Knicks opened up the fourth with an 8-2 run and would get to within four points of their opponents as Anthony Carter connected on an outside shot with 7:35 remaining making it an 84-80 affair. But New York would soon see Boston sprint ahead ending their hopes of extending their season.
Garnett knocked down 26 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist and 1 steal in the Celtics victory. Rondo had 21 points, dished off 12 assists and had 5 rebounds while Ray Allen put up 14 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, a block and a steal. Glen Davis also added 14 points and had 5 rebounds while Paul Pierce chipped in 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
Anthony scored a game high 32 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in the loss for the Knicks. Stoudemire recorded a double-double with 19 points, 12 boards, 3 assists and a block while Anthony Carter added 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. Boston advances to the next round while the New York Knicks end their first Post Season excursion since 2004.