Knicks
Celtics
101 - 110 Final
  for this game

Pierce leads Garnett-less Celtics past Knicks

Nov 19, 2008 - 4:32 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Boston Celtics did the best they could without Kevin Garnett. And Tuesday night, that was good enough to beat the New York Knicks.

Paul Pierce scored 22 points while Kendrick Perkins added 16 and eight rebounds as the Celtics beat the Knicks, 110-101, at TD Banknorth Garden.

Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen added 15 points apiece for Boston, which had five players in double figures while improving to 6-1 this season at home.

The Celtics were forced to play the game without Garnett, who was suspended for the game for retaliating against Milwaukee's Andrew Bogut on Saturday night.

"It's always nice, whenever you don't have one of your 'Big Three' and you win a game, it's a bonus," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "It's really nice. I thought everybody was up for it, so it was good."

"It's a good win for us," Pierce added. "Despite not having Kevin out there for us tonight, guys realize, even last year when we were able to play without him, we can go out there and get the job done with the guys we have.

"The bench really came through tonight. They really came and played well. We were able to get the ball inside on their small lineup and take advantage of it tonight."

Brian Scalabrine started in Garnett's place and hit a key jumper with one minute remaining to seal the win.

"Even though Kevin's out, it's not like I'm saying I have to go out and score 30," Pierce said. "I know what type of team we have and knowing we have guys that can step up and that's what happened tonight. We took advantage of the size matchups by going to (Perkins), going to Leon (Powe), and it paid off for us. (Scalabrine) came off and gave us a big lift in the starting lineup tonight and he was huge."

"It was different and it wasn't, I mean having a great player out there, you definitely miss him, but we tried to go out there tonight and execute, get the ball moving, and that's what we did - a lot of assists and a lot of guys got shots," Rondo said.

Wilson Chandler scored 23 points to lead the Knicks, who lost their second straight. Zach Randolph added 18 points and eight rebounds for New York.

Quentin Richardson scored just 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting while Jamal Crawford scored a season-low three points, making just one shot in four attempts for the game.

But Richardson took more offense with what he thought was trash talking on the part of the defending world champion Celtics throughout the game.

"That's not really important, they won the game," he said. "I think a few of those guys know they can't just say anything to us. I'm just real curious to see what those guys will be saying if we weren't in a basketball league, and didn't have referees.

"I mean it wouldn't be the same story. I mean they are the world champions and rah-rah-rah, but the tough part I don't factor."

Richardson didn't stop there.

"I come from a neighborhood where you can say what you want to say, but 'til you do something, it don't mean nothing," Richardson continued. "Some of those guys are happy to get a ring, but you ain't been in the league long enough to talk to people like that.

"I don't have a lot of respect for that. Like I said, I'd be curious to hear what they have to say in a different setting, I'd be very curious to see that."

New York opened the final period with an 11-5 spurt to cut Boston's lead to 94-88 with 5:30 remaining. But a block by Perkins and a 3-point by Pierce with 5:03 remaining extended Boston's advantage back to 97-88.

Chandler was fouled on a layup and had a chance for a three-point play but missed the free throw with 2:06 remaining as Boston led, 103-99.

Early on, the Knicks appeared ready to take advantage of Garnett's absence, coming out in the first quarter and outscoring the Celtics, 28-26.

Chandler was the biggest beneficiary, scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor without Garnett there to provide resistance.

Mardy Collins' layup with 1:51 remaining in the first gave New York its biggest lead of the night, 26-19.

But the Knicks could not stop Boston from scoring, allowing them to shoot 56 percent from the floor while outrebounding New York, 12-6, in the first.

The Celtics continued their hot run in the second quarter as Allen's layup with 5:21 remaining before halftime put Boston up, 47-37, and capped a 28-11 spurt.

After taking a 56-47 halftime lead, Boston continued its stronghold on the game by dominating inside. Through three quarters, the Celtics outscored the Knicks, 50-20, in the paint, taking an 89-77 lead into the fourth.

"I thought the last 16 minutes I thought we upped our intensity where we had to have it the whole game," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I'm kind of energized right now because we can do that. We took it up, I thought we played harder than them the last 16 minutes, and that's what we had to do.

"We didn't get it done; we had some chances down the end to make a big play down the end and didn't quite get it done. It's not bad, I see some good stuff and now we just have to build on it."