The Knicks’ big three’s big night was not enough as the Celtics set a franchise record with 27 made three-pointers.

The New York Knicks (3-5) big three comes up short in a 133-118 loss to the Boston Celtics (6-3). After escaping the city of brotherly love with a narrow win on Friday, New York’s own came back home on Saturday to host the Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back. 

However, the Knicks starting five would look very different versus Boston compared to Philly. Quentin Grimes did not play due to a sore foot, allowing Cam Reddish to make his first season start; Mitchell Robinson was also out, moving Isaiah Hartenstein into the starting lineup.


Perimeter Woes

Despite Robinson’s elite rim protection taking a hiatus, the Knicks’ inability to defend the three-point line was their ultimate downfall. Boston’s first five buckets of the game came from three, scoring a total of 24 points from deep in the first quarter alone. By halftime, the Celtics had knocked down 13 threes. For context: they entered the game averaging 14.6 threes per game (3rd best in the league), shooting 37.1% (10th best in the league). The lackluster defense allowed Jaylen Brown to explode for 30 points, with 21 coming in the first half.

The second half saw more of the same, with the Celtics’ wings often finding themselves with an absurd amount of space behind the arc. Boston would knock down 27 threes by the end of this one, a franchise record, propelling them to an impressive win in front of a rowdy MSG crowd. Jayson Tatum finished with 24 points and 5 assists in the win.

Coach Thibodeau on his team’s defensive woes: “Some of it was poor defense, some of it was they made shots. We know that’s the way they’ve been playing. Obviously, our defense wasn’t at its best, and against a team like that, it has to be. It was a compilation of things. Some of it was in transition. Not identifying that you have to protect the basket first, but you also have to mark the shooters and know who’s on the floor, who we’re looking for, and who’s the most dangerous man. You have to be there on a catch and take airspace away.”

The Knicks’ big three showed up big tonight, but it was not enough to outscore the scorching-hot Celtics. Julius Randle played a crucial role in keeping the Knicks alive in this one early on, scoring 11 of the team’s first 15 points. Randle would finish with 29 points and 9 rebounds. RJ Barrett also had a huge game, scoring 27 points, but it was an incredibly tough night protecting the ball, finishing with 6 turnovers. He has continued improving at the line, as his percentage is now hovering at 81%. Jalen Brunson added 20 points and 10 assists in the outing.

Quentin Grimes remains day-to-day as the Knicks monitor his sore left foot. Mitchell Robinson, dealing with a sprained knee, will be re-evaluated in 7-10 days, per the Knicks medical staff.

The Knicks head west on Monday to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-5). Tipoff is at 9:15 PM ET.

Related Content: 

»Read: Pairing the youth with veteran mentors

»Read: What we know about the 2022-23 Knicks so far

»Read: Breaking down the great Obi Toppin debate