Behind a showcase of double-digit scoring from all five starters for the second consecutive game and a commanding 34-point outburst to begin the game, the Boston Celtics stormed into Madison Square Garden and put the city that never sleeps to bed early 114-73 in Sunday's matinee.
Led by Jordan Crawford's 23 points, shooting 6-for-12 from deep (27 feet on most of them), and dishing out seven assists, the Celtics brought it from start to finish. Jared Sullinger, who has been on a tear recently, finished with 21 points and three rebounds in the victory.
Similar to Friday's 106-98 win against the Denver Nuggets, Brad Stevens' club had a sense of urgency from the get-go with an impressive 57-percent from the field and allowing a season-low of 11 points in the first quarter. The New York Knicks' (5-14) struggles on and off the court weren't only evident in the beginning of the game, it came to fruition in the second half.
“I think the biggest thing today was coming out after halftime and keeping it going," Stevens said after the game. "That’s hard to do."
Jeff Green, one of the heroes in the latter half of the second quarter after posting seven points, flourished and finished with 16 points and six rebounds, while shutting down Knicks' prolific scorer Carmelo Anthony who made just 5 of his 15 shot attempts. Green felt that his team was putting the pedal to the metal and defending very well after the Knicks shot 34-percent in the game.
“We were aggressive on the ball,” Green said. “We forced them to play on their heels."
With a dominating 56-31 lead emerging into the second half, the Celtics signed, sealed and delivered the message of not letting up. Boston commanded mostly every category of play until the end, including the rebound column 46-26.
New York tried to stay alive and positive throughout the course of the game but with scoring and rebounding complications and ineffectiveness to guard the three-ball, which Boston posted 50-percent, the lead and push of the team in green was too long-lasting to recuperate from.
Stevens has his team visioning success as of late and will look to keep the ball rolling when the Celtics take on Kevin Garnett and the Brooklyn Nets (6-14) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Tonight: Celtics Post Game Show - immediately following the game