BOSTON -- Despite five years of NBA playing experience, Eddy Curry is still largely an untapped talent.
The 23-year-old Curry reminded people why he was fourth pick in the 2001 draft.
"I was really looking to try and get going tonight," Curry said. "My teammates were really persistent in trying to get me the ball in positions where I can score. It worked out good for us tonight."
Behind Curry, the Knicks dominated in the paint, outscoring the Celtics 48-26 and outrebounding them 48-30. That helped opened things up on the perimeter for Steve Francis, who scored 22 points.
"If we can get our big guys going like we did today, mainly Eddy Curry, it opens everything up," said Francis, who had 12 points in the third quarter, when the Knicks outscored the Celtics 29-14.
Channing Frye added 13 points and six rebounds, and David Lee had 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for the Knicks, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
"Any time Eddy can play as well as Eddy played tonight and play up to his potential, it opens things up for everyone," Lee said.
The Celtics (4-8) have dropped their last two games after putting together their first three-game winning streak since April 2005. The Knicks (5-9) beat the Celtics for only the sixth time in their last 22 tries.
The Knicks played a 2-3 zone, which stifled the Celtics' perimeter offense. Leading scorer Paul Pierce managed only 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting and Wally Szczerbiak, who scored 16, was 6-for-16. The Celtics were dreadful from 3-point range, shooting 4-for-21.
"That was ugly for all of us," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't think one guy was great tonight for us. When Paul is not great for us and then Wally is not great for us, it's a tough night to begin with. But, those are the nights you just hope someone else pitches in."
Quentin Richardson, who had struggled from the field in the Knicks' four previous contests, scored 17 points. Reserve Nate Robinson, who had tallied one point in his last two games, added 11. Jamal Crawford was held to four after he scored 37 in his last outing against the Celtics.
"This was a good win for us," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "We need to be patient with the post. We are not patient, or at least we haven't been thus far in terms of really force-feeding him (Curry). Tonight, we were very stubborn about putting the ball inside."
Sebastian Telfair added 12 points for the Celtics.
The Knicks overcame an eight-point Boston lead in the second quarter to grab a 52-47 advantage at halftime. Led by 15 points from Curry, and nine rebounds and five assists from Lee, the Knicks outscored the Celtics 28-14 in the paint in the first half.
After not attempting a field goal in 29 minutes against the Timberwolves on Wednesday night, Richardson took the first shot of the game -- and missed. He shot 7-for-11 from the field on Friday after shooting 5-for-31 from the field in his previous four games. Frye, who scored six points in the teams' last meeting, scored nine points in the first quarter. Robinson has scored in double figures in 10 of 14 games. Red Sox manager Terry Francona watched the game courtside.