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Boston at New York

Pierce drops 39, Celts hold off Knicks' fourth-quarter rally

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- It had been a year and a half since the Boston Celtics won three straight, so Doc Rivers didn't care if Saturday night's victory was pretty or not.

"At the end of the day, we won the game and I got to use a joke that I've had saved up for some time," Rivers said. "The website is back up -- www.threeinarow.com. It's about time, it's been down for a whole year."

Paul Pierce scored 39 points, Ryan Gomes added 22 points and 14 rebounds and the Celtics held off the New York Knicks with a 122-118 victory.

The Celtics last won three straight during a four-game winning streak from April 12-17, 2005.

The Knicks trailed by 20 points in the third quarter but came back to briefly lead 101-100 on Stephon Marbury's layup. Sebastian Telfair's layup gave Boston the lead for good, 102-101, with 3:41 left in the game.

"I don't know what to say. It was a win, it was not a pretty win," Rivers said. "It was not a pretty game."

Pierce was 10-for-23 from the field and hit 18 of 22 free throws. He scored 10 points in the Celtics' big third quarter and added another 19 in the final period, but pointed at Gomes' performance.

"He's like a guy that is like a glue guy," Pierce said. "He's a guy that doesn't demand the ball, but he's a guy that can get the job done."

Wally Szczerbiak added 20 despite fouling out in the fourth quarter and Telfair had 19.

Knicks coach Isiah Thomas was ejected for the first time this season with 2:15 left in the fourth quarter and the Knicks trailing 106-102. Referee Joe DeRosa tossed Thomas for arguing a foul committed moments earlier by Nate Robinson on Telfair, who gave the Celtics a 108-102 lead with two free throws.

"We're at home, and it speaks for itself," Thomas said. "Boston was a lot better at playing small than we were. They were just better than we were tonight, and you have to give them credit."

Reserve Jamal Crawford scored 37 points for the Knicks, who had won two straight. Robinson also came off the bench and added 20 points, while Steve Francis had 17.

After strong defensive play sparked convincing victories over the Washington Wizards and Miami Heat, the Knicks looked as if they were on their way to their third consecutive win before falling apart after halftime.

"They got out and we got behind," Thomas said.

New York built an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter, pushing the ball every time Boston missed a shot. But after the Celtics called a timeout with 9:03 remaining, Szczerbiak led a 16-1 run by scoring 10 points.

"We made a nice run to start the game," Knicks forward David Lee said. "They made a nice counter run. Unfortunately, they were the ones that threw the final punch and were able to beat us."

The teams exchanged the lead in the second quarter, but the Knicks took the lead into the half on seven straight points by Crawford, which were aided by two steals and a blocked shot by rookie Renaldo Balkman.

"What we said at halftime was we took quick shot after quick shot," Rivers said. "We never attacked the basket. In my opinion, we bailed them out because we didn't make them play defense in the first half. We just took quick shots and that's not how we won the two games previous."

Balkman rejected Pierce's layup and Pierce was charged with a technical foul for arguing. Crawford's free throw on the technical increased New York's lead to 56-51 before Pierce's basket just before the buzzer.

Notes

  • Former Knicks star Patrick Ewing arrived with five minutes left before halftime and was cheered by the fans. Ewing exchanged pleasantries with fans on his way to his seat on celebrity row. He was shown at the beginning of the fourth quarter and received a standing ovation.
  • Robinson and Telfair were both charged with double technicals fouls midway through the fourth quarter.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scoreboard
Boston (4-6) «24293534122
New York (4-7) 24322240118
BOS:P. Pierce 39 Pts
BOS:R. Gomes 14 Reb
BOS:P. Pierce 4 Ast
NY:J. Crawford 37 Pts
NY:Q. Richardson 8 Reb
NY:S. Marbury 8 Ast
Players of the Game
New YorkBoston

J. Crawford

P. Pierce
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
37513994
Boston
P. Pierce, SF4310-2318-2294339
S. Telfair, PG355-108-964519
R. Gomes, SF336-1010-13140322
W. Szczerbiak, SF296-125-522620
K. Perkins, C271-21-28243
D. West, SG271-82-20064
R. Rondo, PG181-43-36305
B. Scalabrine, PF81-10-00003
G. Green, SF81-41-10013
L. Powe, PF80-21-42021
T. Allen, SG51-11-20023
T. Ratliff, CDid Not Play
M. Olowokandi, CDid Not Play
A. Jefferson, PFDid Not Play
A. Ray, SGDid Not Play
Totals 33-7750-63471532122
 42.9%79.4% 
New York
S. Marbury, PG443-102-41828
S. Francis, PG294-99-1062618
Q. Richardson, SF240-93-48263
E. Curry, C212-93-47017
C. Frye, PF132-42-25146
J. Crawford, SG3610-2313-1551237
D. Lee, PF265-62-280612
N. Robinson, PG255-127-721619
R. Balkman, SF131-21-24424
J. James, C72-20-00024
K. Cato, CDid Not Play
M. Rose, PFDid Not Play
J. Jeffries, SFDid Not Play
M. Collins, PGDid Not Play
Totals 34-8642-50461937118
 39.5%84.0% 
Other Games
Mia 93 Final
Atl 88
Char 83 Final
Orl 97
Cle 99 Final
Wash 111
Hou 92 Final
Det 104
Port 86 Final
NJ 68
NO 99 Final
Min 96
Mem 84 Final
Dal 89
Ind 102 Final
Mil 100
Tor 109 Final
Den 117
Pho 117 Final
Utah 120
Sea 95 Final
GS 107
Phi 97 Final
LAC 103