Boston Steamroll's New York, Celtics One Game Away from Second Round
By Matt Noonan
Paul Pierce scored 38 points and Ray Allen complimented his teammates efforts with 32 points, as Boston earned their third win in a row against the New York Knicks on Friday, 113-96.
Besides the play of Pierce and Allen, Kevin Garnett made sure his opponents knew that he came to play, as he recorded 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and nine points.
Boston jumped out to a quick 22-7 lead during the first quarter and never looked back. The Celtics offense moved the ball quite well, but also forced their opponent to take off-balanced shots.
The Celtics defense were also pretty impressive, as they recorded 30 defensive rebounds and held the Knicks to just 12 offensive boards.
Rajon Rondo had a terrific game both on offense and defense, as he finished the evening with 15 points, 20 assists and two steals. In fact, the Celtics have won 37 games this season when Rondo hands out at least 10 assists.
On the other side, New York appeared incredibly lost, dumbfounded and out of sync, as both Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony combined for 22 points.
Toney Douglas added an additional 15 points and three rebounds while Jared Jefferies contributed 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.
After leading at halftime, the Celtics tallied 34 third quarter points, as well as outscored the Knicks in the second half, 61-52.
Game 4 will be played Sunday at Madison Square Garden and with a win the Celtics can officially punch their ticket to the second round of the NBA playoffs.