Celtics vs. Knicks: Paul Pierce, C's Storm Back To Beat Knicks, 96-86

Paul Pierce scored 21 points and the Boston Celtics outscored the New York Knicks, 33-17, in the fourth quarter en route to a 96-86 win on Monday night. Read more at SB Nation New York, as well as CelticsBlog and Posting And Toasting.

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Celtics 96, Knicks 86: Boston Storms Back To Beat New York

It's safe to say that Paul Pierce is more than comfortable playing at Madison Square Garden.

After hitting the game-winning shot in front of a sellout crowd to lead the Celtics past the Knicks on December 17th, Pierce scored 21 and helped lead his team on a 24-4 run to close out the game as the Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks, 96-86, at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

Boston (50-19) scored the final ten points of the game and outscored New York, 33-17, in the fourth quarter. The Celtics trailed by 15 points, 54-39, with 9:56 left in the third quarter, in which Boston outscored New York, 26-18.

Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who made 37-of-80 field goals to shoot 46.3 percent. Ray Allen scored 15 points despite making only 5-of-16 shots and Rajon Rondo added 13 points and 12 assists.

Carmelo Anthony finished with 22 points and five rebounds for New York (35-35), which was held to 40.5 percent shooting. Amar'e Stoudemire had 16 points and 11 rebounds, but neither he nor Anthony made a field goal in the fourth quarter. Chauncey Billups scored 21 points and Ronny Turiaf totaled 11 points for the Knicks.

Boston returns home to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. EDT.


Celtics vs. Knicks: Paul Pierce, C's Take On New-Look Knicks

The Good Ship Celtics sails on Monday night, straight onto the biggest stage in all of basketball. The C's are in New York to take on the struggling Knicks at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m. EDT (TV/Radio: CSNNE/WEEI).

It will be the first meeting between the two teams since mid-December, when the Celtics edged the Knicks, 118-116, on a step-back jumper by Paul Pierce with just 0.4 seconds on the clock. It will also be the first time these two Atlantic Division rivals have met since last month's blockbuster trade that sent Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New York from Denver.

The Celts are riding high on the heels of a stirring comeback win over the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday night in which they erased a 15-point, third quarter deficit to win 89-85. The bench keyed the comeback, with Glen Davis notching 20 points and eight rebounds and Delonte West adding nine points and five assists in 19 minutes, many of which came during a 21-6 third quarter run that turned the game around.

With Pierce struggling (3-for-19 from the floor, 15.5 percent combined on Friday and Saturday), the contributions of Davis, West and Jeff Green off the pine were crucial and paid off handsomely. The Celts' reserves have scored 39 points in each of their last three games.

The Knicks (35-34), on the other hand, haven't been so fortunate. They are just 7-8 since the Anthony deal and have lost five of six, including Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee, when they trailed 32-9 after the first quarter.

Anthony managed a career-low six points in a loss at Detroit on Friday night before bouncing back with 23 Sunday against the Bucks.He and co-star Amare Stoudemire have not both cracked the 50 percent shooting plateau in any of those five losses and Stoudemire has posted just 22 PPG in his last five, down more than four points from his season average.

The Knicks currently stand seventh overall in the Eastern Conference, a half game behind sixth-place Philadelphia, in their quest to register the franchise's first playoff berth since 2004.

With a win and a loss by the Bulls against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, the Celtics would reclaim the top spot in the Eastern Conference over Chicago.The C's are 12-2 against the Knicks since the start of the 2007-2008 season.

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