Rose powers slumping Knicks past Celtics 117-106
BOSTON (AP) New York’s locker room door opened and music was blaring in the background.
It’s not a scene that’s happened after too many Knicks’ games lately.
Derrick Rose matched his season high with 30 points, and the slumping Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 117-106 on Wednesday night.
New York played without injured starters Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah, but Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangomez each scored 17 points to help make up for their absence.
”It was a big win for us to come in here and kind of put everything to the side in spite of what’s been surrounding the team, and really focus in on playing basketball and winning,” said forward Carmelo Anthony, who reiterated his desire to stay in New York on Tuesday.
It was just their third win in 14 games in a season that’s been sliding away quickly since the calendar turned to 2017.
”These guys are a determined bunch,” New York coach Jeff Hornacek said. ”They’ve had some bad breaks, we’ve had some bad games, but they stay in there together.”
Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 39 points, his 13th time this season with 30 or more points. Jae Crowder added 21 for the Celtics, who lost for only the fourth time in 17 games.
Al Horford, Boston’s big free-agent acquisition during the summer, had five points on 2-of-14 shooting. He was 1 for 8 on 3-point attempts.
”That was definitely tough for me because they were good looks,” he said. ”I even felt good on a few of them. They just didn’t go in.”
Boston closed to 97-96 on Jaylen Brown’s two free throws with just under eight minutes to play, but Justin Holiday and Courtney Lee nailed 3-pointers 29 seconds apart, pushing New York’s lead back to seven.
Rose then capped an 8-0 spree by putting in his own miss after Thomas missed a jumper – his seventh straight shot that was off.
”Just playing my game,” said Rose, who was 13 for 24 from the floor. ”Just waiting for coach to call my number, just like tonight – he called my number.”
Knicks: Porzingis was out with a sore left Achilles and Noah was sidelined by a sore left ankle. Porzingis missed his fourth straight game, but did shoot before the game. Noah played in their last game. Both big men are expected to undergo MRIs on Thursday. … F Lance Thomas was also out (fractured left orbital bone).
Celtics: G Avery Bradley was a late scratch with a sore right Achilles after warming up. He played in Monday’s win, but had missed the previous four games after straining the same Achilles.
THAT SAYS IT ALL
”We didn’t have a look most of the night that you felt good about,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
HE WANTS TO BE AN ALL-STAR
When the All-Star starters are announced Thursday night, Thomas said he’ll be watching the nationally televised NBA game.
As far as being one: ”I should be,” he said.
The Knicks owned a 57-33 rebounding edge, doubling up Boston 18-9 on the offensive glass.
”The more desperate team, the better team tonight, the more aggressive team – they won,” Stevens said.
The fans gave a loud ovation to 11-year-old Stephen Register of Needham, Massachusetts, late in the opening quarter when he was shown on the Jumbotron.
On Tuesday, as part of a Make-A-Wish memory, the team signed him to an honorary one-day contract and he practiced with Celtics players Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk, received a personalized team jersey, and participated in a press conference with players asking him questions.
He was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.
Knicks: Host Washington on Thursday night for their third game in four days. The Wizards won the only other matchup – 119-112 in Washington on Nov. 17.
Celtics: Host Portland on Saturday, the first of two meetings between the teams this season.