NBA Game Summary - Boston at New York
(Wednesday, March 29th)
Final Score: Boston 123, New York 98
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak each scored 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 123-98 thumping of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Delonte West added 21 points and Ryan Gomes had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics, who ended a two game slide and won for just the second time in five games.
Raef LaFrentz and Tony Allen tallied 14 points piece for Boston, which pulled within three games of the eighth-place Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Sixers lost 101-91 to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
Eddy Curry had 20 points and eight boards for the Knicks, who have dropped six straight and lost for the 51st time this season. Qyntel Woods also scored 20 points and Stephon Marbury had 19 for New York, which has dropped eight of 10.
The Knicks briefly led after Steve Francis connected on the first bucket of the game, but Boston scored the next five points and led 17-14 midway through the frame. A 10-5 surge that followed extended the lead to 12 points, and that is the same cushion the club carried into the second, 40-28.
Boston continued to beat on the Knicks heading into halftime, scoring the final nine points of the frame to take a 71-51 lead through 24 minutes.
"We came in and handled our business," said Pierce. "You can tell [the Knicks are] a team that is ready to get the season over with. They have a lot of talent, but somehow they don't play together or play hard. That's what happens with a team in that position, 10 games left in the season and they're ready to go home."
The final 24 minutes was pretty much academic with New York posing little threat. Boston led 104-74 after the third and coasted through the final quarter without a problem.
"I look out there and I see guys just running up and down the court," said a dejected Knicks head coach Larry Brown.
Boston has won all three meetings against the Knicks this season and seven of eight going back to the 2003-04 season.
"We played well," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. "They got off to a slow start and we got the lead. When a team is struggling you almost feel bad for them at that point. Our guys just kept playing, They played hard. We're so young, I was worried about us losing our focus. I can't worry about them."
New York fell to 13-23 at home...Boston improved to 10-26 on the road...The Knicks shot 46.1 percent from the floor, but the Celtics hit 57.1 percent of its shots...NY also went 0-for-6 from three compared to 7-of-17 for Boston...Prior to the game, Boston suspended Orien Greene indefinitely.
03/29 23:54:36 ET