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Knicks buried under record 3-point barrage by Celtics

Knicks buried under record 3-point barrage by Celtics

A male fan broke half the court to win a new car during the third quarter Saturday night, providing a euphoric moment for the home crowd and even earning a chest bump from RJ Barrett and a bear hug from Julius Randle.

The Celtics’ lethal long-range prowess all night must have had the opposite effect on the helpless Knicks and stunned Garden faithful. Boston’s shooters combined for a career-high 27 3-pointers — which also set the mark for treys allowed by the Knicks — to down Tom Thibodeau’s team, 133-118.

“They’re a dynamic team off the dribble, and some of it was poor defense, and some of it was shooting,” Thibodeau said. “I want to watch the film, but there were some that I felt we could have challenged better.

“Obviously our defense wasn’t at its best, and against a team like that it has to be.”

Jaylen Brown had 30 points and Jayson Tatum had 26 — with six 3-pointers apiece — for the Celtics, who shot an incredible 52.9 percent (27-for-51) from beyond the arc.

Jalen Brunson, who scored 22 points, lays on Jalen Brown during the Knicks loss.
Jalen Brunson, who scored 22 points, lays on Jalen Brown during the Knicks loss.
Corey Sipkin

The barrage also broke the previous Knicks record for three-pointers allowed at 26, the Bucks’ total in a game at the Garden in November 2021. The Knicks made 23 last Sunday in a loss to Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

“It’s a lot of threes,” Barrett said of the Celtics’ offense. “Sometimes the team gets heated. It’s hard to beat 27 3s, but we still fought until the end. There’s nothing we can do about it.

“Teams are going to get hot. You play 82 games, it’s going to happen at some point. I just have to get back to removing 3 and we’ll be fine.”

Randle (29 points) and Barrett (27) scored season bests, and Jalen Brunson finished with 22 points and 10 assists with no turnovers for the Knicks (4-5).

Jayson Tatum — who scored 26 points, including six 3-pointers — hits a jumper during the Knicks' 133-118 loss to the Celtics.
Jayson Tatum — who scored 26 points, including six 3-pointers — hits a jumper during the Knicks’ 133-118 loss to the Celtics.
AP

Isaiah Hartenstein made his first start of the season in place of injured center Mitchell Robinson (knee) and scored 10 points with a team-best 14 rebounds in 37 minutes.

The Celtics, who improved to 6-3 this season under interim coach Joe Mazzulla, drained five of their first six long-range attempts — including two by Tatum — in the first 3:34 for a quick 15-5 lead. But Reddish ignited the Knicks defensively with a key steal, and they rattled off 10 straight points — capped by two 3-pointers from Randle — to tie the score.

With big men Al Horford (rest) and Robert Williams (knee) out for the Celtics, Thibodeau again turned to a smaller lineup, with a combination of Randle and Obi Toppin, for part of the second quarter. But Boston continued to shoot from long range and scored the first nine points of the session to open a 53-39 lead on Sam Hauser’s layup with 7:40 left in the half. It was his fourth of five long ties in the game.

RJ Barrett, who scored 27 points, chases a loose ball during the Knicks loss.
RJ Barrett, who scored 27 points, chases a loose ball during the Knicks loss.
Corey Sipkin

The Knicks’ makeshift starting unit got them back into the game with a layup. Barrett buried two 3-pointers and scored 13, while Randle added seven in a 27-14 spurt to close the half with the Celtics holding a 67-66 lead.

Boston added a total of 13 3-pointers in the half with eight more in the third quarter, extending its lead to 101-96 entering the final period.

Additional long-range bombs from Marcus Smart (13 points, 11 assists) and former Nick Noah Vonleh extended Boston’s lead to nine midway through the fourth.

Randle’s traditional three-point conversion cut the Knicks’ deficit to four, but Tatum hit a Celtics-record 25th and 26th three-pointer of the night for a 124-114 lead with 3:34 remaining.

“I think it’s a lack of communication on our part,” Brunson said. “They got a lot of misdirection, miscommunication 3s. And it’s a credit to them. They are a very good team, very good players, very good philosophy. It’s a mix of those things, but you have to give them credit. … Tonight just wasn’t our night.”



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