Just 6 days after an embarrassing defeat at home, the New York Knicks got revenge on the road. Last night in Boston, the Knicks beat the Celtics 101-77 avenging their 122-118 loss at home last Saturday. The road to victory came in the second half as the Knicks went into a 2-3 zone defense which stymied their opponents. Unlike the first game, the zone kept the Celtics on the perimeter. Ryan Gomes who had 6 offensive rebounds and 10 of his 22 points from the free throw line in the first matchup, failed to record an offensive rebound and didn’t make it to the charity strip once. Last week Telfair and Pierce hit 26 free throws combined, but only managed 4 last night. Not only did the Knicks defense disrupt the Celtics inside game, but they prevented Boston from connecting from downtown. New York presented a team effort in the zone, constantly running at shooters and switching in unison. Despite having deadly outside shooters like Wally Szczerbiak and Paul Pierce, Boston only managed 4 of 21 from three point land (19%). On the night the Celtics only shot 40.8% (eFG%) as a team.
Meanwhile on the other end of the court, Isiah Thomas’ “quick” offense looked as good as it’s ever been. Eddy Curry provided the inside muscle, and had his best game of the 2007 season. Curry shot 8 of 12 for 21 points, and seemingly toyed with the Celtics in the paint. Eddy also pulled down 10 boards, his third best total of the year. Steve Francis continually broke down the Celtics’ defense. While he only made 3 of his 8 attempts, Francis hit all 15 of his free throws to lead New York with 22 points. Meanwhile Richardson got off the schneid with 17 points, and David Lee almost recorded his first career triple double (11 pts, 13 rebs, 8 ast).
This win comes after the Knicks allowed the Timberwolves a 17 point first quarter lead, and right behind a home & road matchup against the Bulls.