Archive for April 22nd, 2011

Live Celtics at Knicks Game 3 blog

The New York Knicks are hosting the Boston Celtics for Game 3 of their first round playoff series. With the experienced Celtics up 2-0, this game is pretty must-win for the new-look Knicks.

Below are completely raw, unedited game notes taken live from Madison Square Garden.

STARTERS

The Celtics started their usual: Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen at guard, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett at forward, and Jermaine O’Neal at center.

The Knicks started Toney Douglas and Landry Fields at guard, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire at forward, and Ronny Turiaf at center. Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups remains out.

FIRST QUARTER

Celtics take early 9-0 lead until a Landry Fields jumper at 8:30.

Some Paul Pierce jawing led two fan chants to break out: “Paul Pierce sucks” and “*sshole.” Although the rhythm of the conflicting chants was off, the message was clear.

At 7:48 Ronny Turiaf was called for his second foul. He got tangled up with Jermaine O’Neal. Arm-hooking was happening, but it’s not clear who the primary culprit was.

Actor and comedian David Alan Grier is in the house.

After a Melo jumper made it 22-9 Celtics up, Kevin Garnett was called for an offensive foul due to a push on Bill Walker, which led to another Knicks bucket, igniting the crowd.

Melo is just 2-of-7 for four points.

Paul Pierce is hot early, shooting 4-of-5 for 12 points.

Melo scores again. Crowd gets louder. Celtics lead 22-13 but hte Knicks are playing with more energy. “Boston sucks!” explains fans in MSG.

Knicks keep waking up. A Shawne Williams three from the left corner makes it 23-16 Celtics. It’s a game, folks

“These refs suck!” chanted fans with a few seconds left in the quarter.

End of first quarter: Celtics 27, Knicks 20. Both teams shot 40 percent from the field and did little from three-point range. The difference was at the free throw line, where Boston shot 9-of-10 while the Knicks hit 3-of-4.  Pierce scored 14, Rajon Rondo (1-of-5) had five for Boston. Melo had six points, Shawne Williams five for New York.

SECOND QUARTER

Amar’e Stoudemire fires a jumper early in the second quarter and everything about it is flat. He is returning from a back spasm problem and doesn’t look like himself yet.

“F*cking retire!” yells a fan at Ray Allen right after Ray nailed a fantastic three-pointer with a defender in his face. I’m thinking Allen will pass on that advice for now.

At 8:01 it’s Celtics up 34-29. The Knicks are up to 46.2% shooting now, but they’ve still only gotten four free throw attempts while the Celtics are 11-of-13 from the line.

Justin Tuck of the New York Giants is in the building. He’s a less physically intimidating version of myself.

Ray Allen is just nasty. He nails another three halfway through the second quarter, putting Boston up 10.  Allen has 13 points now, including 3-of-3 from outside the arc.  Melo, still trying to carry his flat squad, answers with a three, keeping it competitive.

The Knicks are backing off Rondo so much, Spike Lee may be the closest defender.

Loaded with weapons, the Celtics get contributions from many directions. Jermaine O’Neal, who you may remember was a real player, hit a beautiful contested jumper, keeping his team up nine with 2:27 left in the first half.

THIRD QUARTER

The Celtics continue to hold a slightly comfortable lead. A Kevin Garnett jumper from the left side made it 65-52 about four minutes into the quarter.

Rondo is emerging and dishing assists like crazy. He’s essentially given up on attempting to score.

Too many weapons for Boston. Jermaine O’Neal has tossed in a few buckets this quarter and now lead by 15.

Celtics screens are working wonders, especially against young Knicks like Fields.

“Sit down, Lawrence!” yells an angry fan at Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, who has no chance of hearing him.

Pierce is on fire.

The Celtics continue to execute. With 2:49 left in the third, Rondo has nine points, nine rebounds and 14 assists.

Tough to find positives for the Knicks here. Ray Allen is going bonkers. The Celtics are clicking on both ends of the floor. And New York just looks lost at this point.

End of three quarters: Celtics 86, Knicks 63. Rondo has a triple-double: 11 points, 10 rebounds, 15 assists (four turnovers) and two steals.  The only Knick doing any real scoring is Melo but he has 15 points on 16 shots. Stoudemire has been completely invisible.

FOURTH QUARTER

I’m trailing off, here. Every time the Knicks flirt with making it a game, the Celtics execute and keep their lead around 16 points.

With 6:45 left, it’s a 20-point game. The crowd has been defused. Hope is mostly lost.

A Roger Mason three continues to maintain a bit of Knicks life, cutting it to 14. But the Knicks defense is simply unable to make stops in the second half. With 4:22, the Celtics hit 101.

Pierce is unguardable today.

Every Knick defender is a step slow. A Pierce J makes it 106-84 with 3:45 left.

I’m shutting down the laptop. Boston is going to take this.

Check InsideHoops.com later, after the game for a recap.

FINAL

The Celtics beat the Knicks 113-96 and go up 3-0 in the best-of-seven series. The Knicks were never quite in this game, and every time they flirted with making it competitive, Boston would go on a quick 4-0 or 6-2 run and maintain their a lead of 14-17 points.

For the Celtics, Paul Pierce shot 14-of-19 for 38 points. Ray Allen hit 8-of-11 three-pointers and had 32 points. And Rajon Rondo racked up 15 points, 11 rebounds, 20 assists and two steals.

For the Knicks, Shawne Williams came off the bench to lead the team with 17 points. Carmelo Anthony shot just 4-of-16 for 15 points, 11 rebounds, six assists (but five turnovers) and two steals. Toney Douglas had 15 points on just six shots but dished a mere three assists. And Amar’e Stoudemire, playing hurt, was invisible, playing almost 33 minutes, shooting just 2-of-8 for seven points, three rebounds and little else.

Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas reports:

An object thrown from the Rose Garden stands hit Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in the face during Thursday night’s Game 3 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The incident occurred midway through the fourth quarter after Cuban had been interacting with the fans in the section behind the Mavericks’ bench. Cuban was not injured.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Uh, that’s not cool. Don’t do stuff like that, fans.

The AP reports:

Matthews scores 25 and Blazers beat Mavs 97-92 in Game 3

Wesley Matthews had 25 points and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Mavericks 97-92 on Thursday night to narrow Dallas’ lead in the first-round playoff series to 2-1.

Jason Terry had 29 points coming off the bench early for the Mavericks, including five 3-pointers.

The Blazers led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but Dirk Nowitzki hit consecutive jumpers to make it 87-81 midway through the period…

Aldridge finished with 20 points for the sixth-seeded Blazers, while Brandon Roy had 16 off the bench.

Nowitzki had 25 points and nine rebounds for the third-seeded Mavs…

Portland went ahead 85-74 in the fourth after consecutive 3-pointers from Batum and Gerald Wallace.

InsideHoops.com notes: The Mavs shot 51.5%, the Blazers 48.0%. Portland nailed 8-of-14 from three-point range, while Dallas hit 9-of-22. Rebounding was even, and assists were pretty close, but the Mavs had 16 turnovers, the Blazers just nine.

The AP reports:

Wade scores 32, Heat beat 76ers 100-94 for 3-0 series lead

Dwyane Wade had 32 points and 10 rebounds, LeBron James finished with 24 points and 15 boards and the Miami Heat took a 3-0 lead in their first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers with a 100-94 victory Thursday night…

Wade delivered with a string of big baskets—he was 10 of 19 from the field overall—in the third and fourth quarters that spurred the Heat to the brink of the conference semifinals. He drew a foul on a spin move against Jrue Holiday and hit two free throws with 51.6 seconds left that about clinched the game…

Wade was 12 for 12 from the free throw line. For all the hype around the Big Three, Wade remembers he was the Biggest One in Miami. He still plays that way and the Heat needed all of his all-around excellence against the scrappy Sixers.

Chris Bosh scored 19 points for the Heat, who rallied from an early 10-point deficit to move within one win of a sweep of the Eastern Conference series…

Lou Williams missed a 3 with 43 seconds left that would have made it a one-point game. Holiday scored 20 points, Williams finished with 15 and Elton Brand had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers.

The Heat dominated again from the free-throw line, going 24 for 30 to Philadelphia’s 13 of 19…

Philadelphia’s fast start fizzled down the stretch and a team that showed amazing resiliency all season simply doesn’t have the talent to match up with the Heat.

The AP reports:

derrick rose

Derrick Rose was beaten up and shaken up by Indiana’s trapping defense, which was intent on shutting him down at all costs.

The Chicago Bulls guard struggled all game long and even lost his cool at times, but he still found a way to be the difference-maker. He scored 23 points, including the go-ahead layup with 17.8 seconds left, to help the Bulls beat the Pacers 88-84 on Thursday night and take a 3-0 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series…

Danny Granger had a chance to give the Pacers the lead, but his 3-pointer was off, and Chicago’s Ronnie Brewer rebounded. Brewer was fouled, and he made two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to put the game out of reach…

Rose made up for his shooting difficulties by making 13 of 15 free throws. Chicago can close out the series on Saturday…

Luol Deng had 21 points and Korver added 12 for the Bulls.

Granger, who led the Pacers with 21 points, said the Pacers wanted something better than the contested 26-footer that bounced off the rim with 2.2 seconds remaining.

InsideHoops.com notes: It was a brick-fest (or a defensive struggle, if you prefer that), as the Bulls shot 38.9% while the Pacers hit 37.9%. But the Bulls hit an impressive 9-of-20 three-pointers, the Pacers a miserable 1-of-10. Rebounding was even, but the Bulls won the assist battle, 20-11… Pacers point guard Darren Collison was limited in his return from brief injury, scoring nine points on eight shot attempts and only creating two assists with four turnovers.

Live fan discussion of this game took place in this forum topic.

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