By Matt Noonan
This wasn’t a textbook win, but the Green and White, also known as the Boston Celtics pulled out an important win against the New York Knicks at the TD Garden on Sunday, 87-85.
Ray Allen was clutch, especially during the final few seconds, as he sank the game winner, which gave Boston the series lead, 1-0.
Allen struggled at times during the first quarter, but completely bounced back during the second quarter, as he finished the game with 24 points, six rebounds and one assist, but again, despite his slow start, he certainly made up for it during the final seconds in regulation.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were effective, as both players connected on 11 field goals, which added up to 33-points. Garnett led the team with 13 rebounds, while Pierce added four rebounds, four assists, as well as one steal.
So, it is fair to say that the “Big-3” is back, right?
Hard to answer that question, but after watching a somewhat “decent” effort to beat the Knicks, it is fair to say that the Celtics maybe able to keep the Bruins two back-to-back losses off everyone’s mind in Massachusetts or New England.
Their entire bench complimented the “Big-3,” as they finished the game with eight points, two assists, six defensive rebounds and one block. Yes, these aren’t great numbers, especially in the post-season, but the efforts of Delonte West, Nenad Kristic, Jeff Green and Glen Davis did not go unnoticed.
Sunday’s game also belonged to the starting-five, which featured Allen, Pierce and Garnett, along with Rajon Rondo and Jermaine O’Neal. Rondo finished the game with 10-points and nine assists, while O’Neal ramped up his play and blocked four New York shots. He also finished with 12-points and four rebounds.
Yet, while the Celtics may want to jump up and down and celebrate in their locker room, this is just one of sixteen wins. That’s right, one of sixteen wins. If the Celtics can win three more against the New York Knicks, they’ll be one step closer to returning to the NBA Finals for the third time in four years.
The NBA post-season is often described as a “journey,” but after the Celtics first win on Sunday, it is fair to say that their quest has started on the right foot and can only get better.
As for New York, Amare Stoudemire led the team with 28-points and 11 rebounds, while Carmelo Anthony added 15-points, four assists and two steals.
Game two between Boston and New York will take place Tuesday April 19, tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm eastern.