Many expected the Knicks to struggle to contain Boston’s starters Tuesday night at TD Garden.
Not many could have expected New York to struggle so badly to contain Boston’s second unit.
Heading into the second quarter, the Cs sent out a fivesome of Shane Larkin, Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye and Aron Baynes. That group was nearly unstoppable.
Tatum accounted for Boston’s first 10 points of the quarter, connecting on four consecutive shots that were released from his fingers over a span of exactly three minutes.
Shortly after that spurt, with 7:06 remaining in the second quarter, Tatum dropped a transition pass off to Shane Larkin, who canned a trey from the left wing to push Boston ahead, 43-23.
New York called for a timeout after that shot, but the momentum of this contest was never going to shift out of the Celtics’ favor. If the Knicks couldn’t slow down Boston’s second unit, how were they supposed to win the game?
In the end, it was the Cs who cruised to their first blowout victory of the season, 110-89, all while having three of their players (Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kyrie Irving) score 20 or more points.
Jaylen Brown turned 21 Tuesday and he came out of the gates hot, scoring 13 points during the first quarter and taking an early lead in the race for Key Player of the game.
By the end of the night, however, Jayson Tatum, who’s still pumping 19-year-old blood through his veins, had taken control of the honor.
Tatum was outstanding from start to finish during Boston’s 110-89 win over the Knicks, scoring 22 points overall, but he was particularly impressive during the second quarter. During one stretch, he scored 10 consecutive points for the Celtics and assisted on three more to cap the spurt.
The rookie out of Duke finished the contest having made nine of his 15 shot attempts and four of his six 3-pointers. He also stuffed the stat sheet with four rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks.
Yep, he did it all while joining Lonzo Ball as the only rookies to score 20 or more points in a game this season. That’s enough to earn our Key Player slot, even on a night during which Brown scored 23 points of his own on his 21st birthday.
Box Score Nuggets
– Three Celtics (Jaylen Brown with 23, Jayson Tatum with 22, and Kyrie Irving with 20) scored 20 or more points.
– Brown and Tatum became the first teammates in Celtics history to score 20 or more points in the same game while being 21 years old or younger.
– Tatum loaded the stat sheet with 22 points, four rebounds, four steals, two blocks and two assists.
– Boston limited Kristaps Porzingis to only 12 points on 3-for-14 shooting.
– The Celtics committed only 12 turnovers.
– Enes Kanter led the game with 19 rebounds and also led New York with 16 points.
– Al Horford logged his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. He also dished out five assists.
– The Celtics shot 14-for-29 (48.3 percent) from long distance.
– Four Celtics dished out at least four assists.
– New York outscored Boston 58-40 in the paint.
– Daniel Theis recorded career highs of 11 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.
– Willy Hernangomez led all reserves with 12 points.
Quote of the Night
“A lot of names get thrown around, and rightfully so, in defensive talk around the league, and there’s a lot of good defenders, but Al is right up there. And he doesn’t always get mentioned, but that’s OK with Al.”—Brad Stevens gives some love to Al Horford for his defense against Kristaps Porzingis, who scored only 12 points.