But after the game, coach Mike Woodson said the game ball went to
The fourth-year center out of Kansas, making his first NBA start
with the Knicks, who were missing four frontcourt players, notched a
double-double — his 12 points and 10 rebounds in 25-plus active
minutes — helping his team to its fifth straight win.
"Stepped up big-time," Anthony said after the Knicks, playing amid
the swirling rumors that Phil Jackson is coming to run the
organization, led wire-to-wire thanks to a 68-point first half
fueled by going 9-of-10 from 3-point range. "Cole's been very
patient this year, sitting and waiting for his number to be called
and when his number was called tonight he stepped up to the
challenge--gave us a big lift offensively and defensively."
Aldrich came into the game averaging 0.9 points and 1.8 rebounds per
game for the season, 1.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in his
"It's not about me, it's not about what I did today, it's about the
whole team and what we're doing lately," said Aldrich. "We're coming
out here and we're playing really good basketball."
The Knicks, 21-40 before this winning streak, climbed to within
three games of the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth and final Eastern
Conference playoff berth, suddenly have a reason to play.
"We know we dug ourselves a hole throughout this season but right
now this is the time to really make this push," said Anthony. "We're
doing well right now and we want to keep it going."
The Knicks were playing without frontcourt men Amar'e Stoudemire
(day of rest), Tyson Chandler (personal), Andrea Bargnani (elbow)
and Kenyon Martin (ankle), forcing them to give Aldrich the start.
Guard J.R. Smith scored 13 points for New York, which was guilty of
only eight turnovers.
Forward Jeff Green scored 17 points in the third quarter and 19 of
his 27 in the second half as the Celtics (22-43) lost their second
straight and fell for the ninth time in 12 games.
Boston was without guards Rajon Rondo (resting on the back end of a
back-to-back) and Avery Bradley (ankle).
Forward Kris Humphries added 15 points for the Celtics. He has 50
points and 25 rebounds in the past three games. Guard Jerryd Bayless
also scored 15, and forward Jared Sullinger had 10 points and eight
rebounds for Boston.
[to top of second column]
"It's real tough — we got put in a hole," said Green. "They got
an early start, gave them a rhythm and it was hard to get that out
of that rhythm."
Coming into the game, the Celtics had held their past three
opponents to a combined 12-of-61 from 3-point range. The Knicks then
went wild from behind the arc in the first half. That helped the
visitors score 36 points in the first quarter and 68 in the half,
both totals the most allowed by the Celtics in a home quarter and
half since 2005 (in separate games). The 68 points matched the high
against Boston this season and the 116 point were the most scored by
the Knicks in Boston since 1996.
"To their credit, they were executing at a high level with a very
small team, very fast team, very skilled team," said Boston coach
Brad Stevens. "And they used that speed to hurt us on the other end
of the floor, too."
NOTES: F Carmelo Anthony, a potential free agent at the end of the
season, said Wednesday he was told by management that Phil Jackson
is coming to New York to run the basketball operation. "I don't
think it'll have any effect on me, just as far as what I'm thinking
or my decision or anything like that," Anthony said. "I haven't
talked to Phil yet, just to get his insight on a lot of things — what's his plan, what's his future plan — because everything's in
his hands now." ... The New York Daily News reported that Knicks
owner James Dolan asked Bill Bradley, an old friend and teammate of
Jackson, to serve as an intermediary in the team's discussions with
Jackson. ... Celtics G Avery Bradley, who missed his 13th straight
game with an ankle sprain, is on target to return Friday night when
the Celtics host the Phoenix Suns. ... The Knicks return home to
play the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.