Boston Celtics reserves prove themselves in preseason loss to Knicks

Boston Celtics (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics fell 114-107 to the New York Knicks in their second taste of preseason action. Boston’s top six players, including Jayson Tatum, sat out on the second end of a back-to-back as Payton Pritchard led the charge following his epic preseason debut.

Despite the loss, P-Rabbit continued his impressive play with a 21-point performance. The fourth-year point guard went 7/15 from the field while adding five assists and three steals. During his Sunday masterclass against the Philadelphia 76ers, Pritchard poured in 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting and nailed six 3-pointers on 11 tries.

Dalano Banton, one of Boston’s many offseason acquisitions, put up 20 points of his own. The six-foot-nine combo guard showed Madison Square Garden why the Celtics signed him as he sank 50% of his 14 two-point attempts while dishing out a pair of dimes. Banton’s size and versatility should gel well with Boston’s system on both ends of the floor.

Svi Mykhailiuk also shined in his Celtics debut. The Ukrainian sharpshooter put together a red-hot first half with 11 points on 4/6 shooting. Mykhailiuk splashed three 3-pointers in the process; ending the contest with 15 points overall.

While Beantown’s best bunch sat out the contest, the Knicks practically deployed their entire roster as they only gave Josh Hart the night off for rest. Boston’s second-stringers held down the fort and kept the game well within reach for three quarters. One minute into the fourth period, a 91-88 Knicks lead ballooned to 103-92 over a five-minute stretch.

Not all of Boston’s rotational pieces performed well. Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet both started and combined for a measly 10 points on 4/11 combined shooting. Projected fan-favorite two-way center Neemias Queta also struggled, particularly with foul trouble. The big man committed five fouls in 13 minutes of action. Although he fouled opponents far too often, Queta led the C’s with a team-high plus-minus mark of +9.

Two other Boston Celtics cracked double-digit scoring as Oshae Brissett dropped 10 points and Lamar Stevens had 11 points, respectively. The two forwards will give Boston immense frontcourt depth this season. Their high-octane energy and physicality led to some huge hustle plays that kept the Celtics from rolling over against a fully loaded Knicks squad. Stevens even posted a positive plus-minus, despite playing 26 minutes in a seven-point loss.

Immanuel Quickley led the way for New York with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Five other Knicks scored 10 or more points as the winning team collectively shot 45.2% from the field.

The Boston Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers in third preseason game

The Celtics will continue their preseason on Oct. 11 when they visit Philly and face their rivals for a second time in three games.