Saturday, November 3, 2012

2nd Round - Celtics/Knicks - Game 2

After the Knicks blitzed their way to a win in Game 1, the Celtics mulled over the loss and thundered back tonight, winning 92-103 in commanding fashion by ending Game 2 on a 15-6 run.

As the final minute started to tick down, Marcus Camby missed a contested dunk and then Amar'e Stoudemire was blocked on a put-back attempt after a three-pointer splashed in for Boston on the middle possession.

Those two precious misses, despite a clutch 3 by Jason Kidd in the corner, would prove to be the undoing of the Knicks, a debacle that wasn't helped by a turnover off the inbound pass late in the game that led to a layup by Rajon Rondo, who commanded his team to a morale-boosting victory tonight with 21 points and 10 assists.

Paul Pierce had 19 points, hitting vital shots to keep Boston alive amidst 27 points from Carmelo Anthony and 20 by Jason Kidd. Kevin Garnett powered his way to 21 points and 8 rebounds, embittered by being subdued in Game 1. Michael Beasley had 15 points and 6 rebounds and Rip Hamilton ran off screens for 15 helpful points. Eddie House, despite not shooting the lights out, hit 3 huge long balls for the defending champions.

In the loss, Raymond Felton had 13 points, Marcus Camby had 10 points and 11 rebounds, but most noticeably, Amar'e Stoudemire was more of a distraction on offense rather than the unstoppable force he was in Game 1, finishing with just 10 points and 17 rebounds on 5-14 shooting.

Boston's defense, despite some lapses in a dour first half that made the crowd anxious as New York pulled out to an early lead, was efficient when it mattered. The Celtics blocked 9 Knicks shots and caused 16 turnovers compared to their 7. Remarkably, despite New York blazing up the court in the first half, Boston led the fast break department 27-8 overall, holding the Knicks to under 100 points.

The green and white confetti falls tonight, but what awaits Boston in NYC?

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