for this game

Chandler, Knicks add to Celtics' road woes

Jan 5, 2009 - 3:18 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Two weeks ago in Boston, Al Harrington and Wilson Chandler endured nightmarish performances. Facing the same green uniforms on their home court, it was an entirely different story.

Harrington and Chandler combined for 61 points as the New York Knicks ended an eight-game losing streak to the Boston Celtics with an 100-88 victory on Sunday afternoon.

Chandler scored 20 of his career-high 31 points in the second half as the Knicks erased a three-point halftime deficit and cruised in the final minutes. Harrington had 20 points by the break and hit a some key shots in the second half as the duo combined to shoot 20-of-42 on the night.

"It was a great win," Harrington said. "We all banded together. We had opportunities and didn't put our head down and went the other way with it. We kept responding to the challenge."

"It feels very good," Chandler said. "We have been struggling a little bit, so it was good to get a win. It means a lot."

The Knicks beat the Celtics for the first time since March 23, 2005 when current assistant Herb Williams coached the team. Since then, Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas and Mike D'Antoni have failed to beat Boston, suffering through close losses and painful blowouts.

D'Antoni endured both in earlier trips to Boston when the Knicks fell by nine points on November 18 and then gave up 41 points in the first quarter while allowing the Celtics to shoot 67 percent and put up 124 points on December 21. That game was part of New York's recent six-game slide and it saw Harrington shoot 2-of-15 and Chandler finish 1-of-7.

"Obviously our defense in the second half was really good," D'Antoni said. "They shot 57 percent in the first half and then ended with 40 percent."

The Knicks also allowed their lowest point total of the season and closed this one out just two days after a two-point home loss to Indiana.

"It feels good," Knicks forward David Lee said. "We have a lot of respect for those guys. They have a great team that they put together but for us to defend our homecourt and to win shows we are getting better. It was a big win and we kept playing defense."

"When you do that, good things happen," Knicks point guard Chris Duhon said.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 31 points in this one, but his teammates struggled in their fourth loss in six games - with all four losses coming on the road - following a 19-game winning streak. Ray Allen added 16 but was 0-of-9 from 3-point range and Kevin Garnett finished with a season-low six points on 1-of-6 from the floor while Rajon Rondo scored just three on 1-of-7 shooting.

"I think teams are making adjustments," Garnett said. "We're not a team of perfection. We do strive for that. We play extremely hard but that team is a classic example tonight. They have players that when they do play together and aggressively, they make plays. That's what this league is all about."

The Celtics fell to 30-6 as they shot 40.5 percent (32-of-79). Boston also shot just 6-of-25 from 3-point range and committed 14 turnovers.

Despite the recent losses, which started with a Christmas Day road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston is still confident.

"I don't think it's any different," Allen said. "The adversity that we've gone through the last two years, we've responded to it pretty well. We've almost reveled in it."

"We have six losses," Pierce said. "The world's not coming to an end."

In this one, the contest began to swing in favor of New York early in the third quarter.

After the Knicks fell behind by two, Chandler scored eight straight points - including a 3-pointer and three free throws - as part of a 15-2 run that put New York on top, 73-62. Harrington connected from the arc to cap the surge.

"A lot of people were struggling in the game," Chandler said. "So me and Al started to get hot. The defense stayed the same. My first step is quick and I decided to take it to the rim and score."

The versatile forward - who came off the bench for the fourth straight game - helped the Knicks close out the quarter with a wide-open three in front of Boston's bench with 33 seconds on the clock.

New York still needed a strong performance down the stretch to fend off a Boston charge. Pierce hit three straight jumpers, two foul shots and a 3-pointer that cut the Celtics' deficit to 91-86 with 3:38 remaining. But just moments later, Duhon found Lee cutting to the basket for an emphatic dunk and the Knicks piled on from there.

The Knicks finally began to seal it when Harrington passed out of a double team and found a cutting Jared Jeffries with 2:31 left for a 95-86 edge.

After bad misses by Rondo and Allen, Chandler coasted in for a layup and finished off a three-point play with 2:11 left, giving New York a 12-point cushion.

"It bugs you when you lose a game, especially a game you think you should win," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "But I didn't think we should win tonight, not the way we played."

Lee finished with 14 points and 14 boards for the Knicks, who came into the day having lost seven of eight.

  • 49
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Celtics 88, Knicks 100  FinalJan 6 6:44 PM

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    BOSTON 88

    Jan 4 8:28 PM

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    BOSTON 68

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    BOSTON 53

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  • 44
    RUWTbot Added 44 roots

    Celtics 53, Knicks 50  HalfJan 4 7:12 PM

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    BOSTON 24

    Jan 4 6:38 PM