In a pivotal recreation to find out the Jap Convention seeding, the 25-26 Celtics hosted the 25-26 New York Knicks after a turnover-filled loss to the Philadelphia 76ers the evening earlier than.
A predictably low-scoring affair with the Knicks on the town, the Celtics had been capable of squeak by with a 101-99 win. Identical to the evening earlier than, the Celtics couldn’t deal with the basketball, however this time, they had been capable of win despite it.
The Knicks got here into the sport sporting the fourth-best defensive ranking within the NBA and the greatest factors allowed per recreation within the NBA.
Romeo Langford hit the beginning lineup for the third time in his profession with the absence of Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker. Langford took the beginning two guard position with Marcus Good on the level.
That is Langford third begin of his profession. He beforehand began towards Orlando and Washington (within the ultimate recreation of the 2020 common season). https://t.co/sqW4DytXj8
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) April 7, 2021
The primary two begins, towards Orlando and Washington in his rookie season, had been 28 and 30 minute stints, respectively. Towards the Knicks, Langford performed 25 minutes. He began slowly, fouling RJ Barrett on the Knicks’ first possession, then turning it over on Boston’s second. He ended the sport with six factors and 5 rebounds.
Tristan Thompson additionally returned to the lineup for the Celtics after a prolonged absence within the NBA’s Well being and Security Protocols. He noticed 22 minutes of motion and recorded seven factors, eight rebounds and three blocks. His impression was evident, mirrored by a team-high +24.
Boston’s offense began gradual, scoring simply six factors within the first 5 minutes of motion towards one of many league’s greatest defensive items.
The Celtics’ protection was capable of preserve them within the recreation. Regardless of a low-scoring first quarter, they nonetheless held a three-point lead on the finish of the primary quarter, with Jaylen Brown main the crew in factors (12). Brown completed with a game-high 32.
Robert Williams III was lively and energized within the first, scoring 5 factors and grabbing 4 offensive rebounds.
It wasn’t simply Williams terrorizing the offensive glass, your entire Celtics crew was creating second possibilities with offensive rebounds. Langford confirmed hustle in his third profession begin, grabbing 4 offensive rebounds. Boston completed with 16 offensive rebounds.
Robert Williams (5) and Romeo Langford (4) have mixed for 9 offensive rebounds for the Celtics with 7:08 to play within the first half.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) April 8, 2021
The exercise on the offensive glass saved Boston within the recreation within the first half. With a one-point lead at halftime, Boston had a large 13-2 offensive rebound benefit.
Tristan Thompson confirmed out in his first recreation again, boasting a team-best +10 plus minus and pitching in on the glass with six rebounds within the first half alone.
Brown was matched up defensively towards Julius Randle a number of occasions, and early within the recreation, Randle struggled to attain like a 23 factors per recreation scorer he’s.
Jayson Tatum additionally struggled offensively following two straight low-20s scoring performances. He led the crew in turnovers and struggled to search out consistency along with his soar shot. Tatum did make some noise on a one-handed tomahawk over Taj Gibson. Tatum completed with 25 factors.
Following an offensively-improved second quarter, Boston stumbled out of halftime and let the Knicks take a five-point lead early. As he’d finished a number of occasions this season, Tatum began heating up within the third quarter. A ten-0 run, fueled by Tatum, helped Boston reclaim their lead.
However, Randle had a run of his personal in him. He scored 13 factors within the third, getting himself going with a number of fast-break scoring possibilities. Tatum and the Celtics’ turnover struggles helped New York enter the fourth quarter with a three-point lead. Randle rebounded from a tough begin, and ended the sport with 22 factors.
The Knicks had outshot Boston from deep all through the evening. Barrett was within the zone from deep, hitting open seems to be following drive-and-kick motion. The sophomore from Duke hit 6-6 of his threes, and led the Knicks in scoring with 29 factors.
The bench scoring was another excuse New York was capable of hold round, regardless of getting out rebounded and turning the ball over nearly as a lot as Boston did. The Knicks bench outscored Boston’s bench 27-15.
Boston and New York had been jostling for positioning, looking for an edge over the opposite within the fourth. The Celtic protection was conserving the Knicks at arm’s size, however the turnovers made certain it wasn’t anymore than arm’s size.
With slightly below a minute remaining, Barrett hit his fifth straight 3-pointer to tie the sport, however Good had a 3 to reply on the opposite finish. Alec Burks rushed a 3 towards Good, then Brown was capable of put the sport out of attain ultimately with a free throw – then block – on one other rushed Burks shot.
Boston has someday off, then returns to the parquet to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m.