The Boston Celtics lost another game to the New York after having offensive consistency at halftime. The Celtics outscored the Knicks 48-42 at the half. They competed on the defensive end for a majority of the night until the Knicks exploded for 32 points in the third quarter.
Carmelo made 5-6 shots in the quarter and contributed most of the offensive production for the Knicks throughout the game scoring 34 points on 11-24 shooting. Melo was also 10-11 from the free throw line complimenting what he did from the field.
Raymond Felton and J.R Smith chipped in with a combined 35 points on 30 shots. They made 15-30 shots from the field and did a lot of the creating off of the dribble for New York.
This game was all about fundamental basketball on the defensive end. The Knicks were sound when their double team’s came and rotated beautifully when the Celtics tried to swing the ball. Paul Pierce was forced into another awful night with five turnovers–he has 11 total turnovers in the series. Overall, he went 8-19 from the field and scored 19 points.
The Celtics scored 71 points on 70 total field goals. They shot 37% from the floor and only had 14 assists on the night. When you couple that with 11 turnovers you likely aren’t going to have a chance to win that game.
The Celtics did get some bench production with 19 points, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Their defense collapsed in the third quarter when Mike Woodson found a way to counter Melo being fronted when playing in the post.
Instead of having Melo come down the court and try to establish position, Woodson used him as a screener on pick and pop plays from the wing. He also had Melo run through cross screens to get him from elbow to elbow and get him open looks.
Woodson just outcoached Rivers and made the better adjustments in each game after the half. The Celtics don’t just score 48 2nd half points for no reason. There’s a method to his madness and its paying off. The Knicks will be taking a 2-0 series lead into Boston.