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The Pistons, who once trailed by 16 points early in the fourth quarter, climbed to within 93-91 on Reggie Jackson’s triple with 31.9 seconds, but former Piston Jonas Jerebko responded with a baseline jumper – his first points of the game – with 10.7 seconds left to silence a raucous crowd and earn a 99-93 win Saturday at the Palace.
Hawks 117 Knicks 98: Paul Millsap scored 22 points to lead Atlanta past NY.
In the fourth quarter, NY scored in transition and from the free-throw line to cut the C’s lead to five before Boston’s 10-6 run in the final four minutes clinched the win.
Point guard Isaiah Thomas contributed 17 points and nine assists and reserve-shooting guard Evan Turner supplied 13 points, five rebounds and three assists for Boston. The first came on a drive down the lane and the second he easily beat everyone down the floor after grabbing the rebound. Stevens knows the kind of intensity that Smart plays with and he may opt to ease him into the rotation.
Mavericks 118 Bulls 111: J.J. Barea scored 26 points and was practically unstoppable from beyond the arc and Raymond Felton came up big on consecutive plays at both ends late in the game to lead Dallas over Chicago. Thomas’ plays made sure the Celtics were never in danger of losing.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens won’t let his team get too content with its play. “And that’s where you learn about how hard it is to win and all the little detail things it takes to get there”. He also had eight rebounds and six assists.
“He’s tough. I mean, he’s tough”, Anthony said of the 5-foot-9 Thomas. “We haven’t set an exact date, a lot of it will depend on practice, but we’re hoping in the next couple of weeks we get him in there”.
Later, Anthony drilled a three-pointer that narrowed the gap to 88-83 with 5:30 to go, the closest the Knicks had been since the second quarter.
The Knicks shot just 37.1 percent from the floor, the 10th Celtics opponents – and third in a row – to shoot under 40 percent, tying Boston for the league lead. Hopefully, the Knicks can clog them up a bit tonight.
“Turnovers always swing the momentum, especially on the road”, NY coach Derek Fisher said. Between now and January 12, however, we may get the answer to that question. Boston’s David Lee was sidelined by back spasms….
The Celtics led 51-41 at halftime.
Anthony said the Knicks never felt comfortable shooting the ball. The Celtics will be reuniting what may become the best defensive back court in the NBA in Smart and Bradley and with how improved the Celtics have been on the offensive end, the team will be playing their most complete basketball of the year. NY took him with the fourth pick in the 2015 draft. The Knicks shot 7-for-26 in the first quarter, scored 18 points and didn’t hustle after loose balls or rebounds with as much passion as Boston. Fisher said that the offense wasn’t being run properly at times. “We can create game plans, strategies, coverages, et cetera, but when the game starts it’s really those guys that have to get it done”.
Smart missed more than a month with a lower leg injury, and finally made his return to action on Sunday versus the Knicks.
Kobe Bryant, playing in only the first and third quarters, scored 19 for the Lakers, with 14 in the opening quarter.