The Knicks cruised to a 30-point victory at TD Garden thanks to Immanuel Quickley, R.J. Barrett, and poor shooting from the Celtics.

After five consecutive losses, the New York Knicks (6-8) finally navigated themselves back into the win column with a wire-to-wire victory. With a score of 105-75, they beat the Boston Celtics (8-4) in their first matchup of the season against their in-division rival.

New York out-hustled Boston in their own home, jumping out to an early lead by forcing turnovers and capitalizing off of them. They forced Boston into committing 11 turnovers and scoring 12 points off of them in the first half. The Knicks also recorded eight offensive rebounds and 13 second-chance points in the first half. They entered the break leading by 13 and only allowed Boston to score 35 points.

The Knicks took advantage of the Celtics’ mistakes all game long. Although Boston narrowed the turnover margin—committing 17 turnovers while New York had 16—they didn’t get many points off of the ones they forced. The Knicks scored 22 points off Boston’s turnovers while the Celtics recorded just 11 points off New York’s miscues.

Boston was down out once the second half started when they couldn’t buy a shot early on. For New York, the win snaps a five-game losing streak to Boston and is the biggest win against the Celtics since…the Fall of the Roman Empire? The 30-point win eclipses 24-point and 26-point victories over Beantown during the 2013–14 season along with a 26-point win in Boston in December 1992 and only trailed a 37-point win in Boston in October 1970 (h/t MSG Network). Simply put: it’s been a while since the Knicks beat down on the Celtics like they did today.

New York’s offense wasn’t anything special today. One thing they did really well was convert on their free throws, shooting 17-of-21 from the charity stripe. Boston’s offense was putrid, shooting 29.8% on field goals and 15.2% on threes. Boston’s All-Star Jayson Tatum remained unavailable due to health and safety protocols, but their other All-Star, Kemba Walker, made his season debut. He played 20 minutes, shot 3-for-13 from the floor, and recorded a game-high five turnovers.

Jaylen Brown got off to a hot start, nailing three triples and totaling 11 points in the first quarter. He was Boston’s biggest threat throughout the contest, scoring a team-high 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting, as well as six boards. He and Marcus Smart were the only Celtics to crack a double-digit point total.

Julius Randle (10 points and four rebounds) and R.J. Barrett (eight points six rebounds) had themselves a productive first quarter and led the Knicks in points and rebounds for the game. Randle finished with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Barrett finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds on 5-for-11 shooting.

Rockin’ and Rowan

R.J. Barrett impacted the game in several areas—getting downhill against the Celtics’ defense, making seven of his eight free-throw attempts, sinking two three-pointers in four tries, and throwing some lovely dimes. His energy and aggressiveness did damage to a sluggish Celtics squad.

Barrett also crashed the offensive boards with tenacity, collecting four offensive boards, which tied with Mitchell Robinson for the team-high mark.

“‘Floater alert’ – Chris Smoove” – Immanuel Quickley

Immanuel Quickley has found himself in a groove lately. He posted 17 points and a game-leading eight assists on 7-of-12 shooting.

Quickley’s floater was cash all afternoon. Even as he faced tough defense from Payton Pritchard, who was drafted one pick after him, Quickley remained poised, got to his spots, and scored on floaters like clockwork. He was the Knicks’ leading scorer at halftime with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

Quickley displayed veteran-like patience and a sense of timing on his drives and comfortably propelled New York’s offense when the starters rested. He played most of his minutes with Obi Toppin and the rookies linked up on a few buckets. Toppin finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 2-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc.

Toppin looked overwhelmed when he handled the ball, opting to put his back to the defender on several occasions. But he moved well without the ball and Quickley fed him. The two rookies building synergy is important for New York’s bench unit this season and crucial for the franchise moving forward.

The Knicks are back in action tomorrow at noon against the Orlando Magic, their last home game before a four-game visit on the west coast.

 

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