Celtics Demolish Knicks By 45 Points

Friday, November 30th 2007, 8:38 am
By: News On 6

BOSTON (AP) - At least the Boston Celtics can't be accused of running up the score. With the Big Three on the bench, point guard Rajon Rondo dribbling out the shot clock on purpose and the Knicks flirting with one degrading record after another, Boston cruised to a 104-59 victory over New York on Thursday night.

Only Nate Robinson's 37-foot 3-pointer at the final buzzer , and perhaps a little pity from the Celtics, saved the Knicks from scoring the fewest points in franchise history.

``I don't think they were running the score up,'' New York forward Quentin Richardson said. ``They were making shots and we weren't. They held the ball up there in the end, and Doc (Rivers), he's a classy guy.''

It was the sixth-biggest win in Celtics history and the biggest since a 153-107 victory over the Baltimore Bullets in 1970; five NBA titles ago. It was the third-worst loss and their second-worst scoring performance for the Knicks in the shot-clock era.

``Of course I am embarrassed. We lost by nearly 50 points,'' guard Stephon Marbury said. ``I'm angry. I'm always angry when I lose, but that was just flat-out embarrassing. To lose that bad was just ridiculous.''

In other NBA games on Thursday, it was: Golden State 113, Houston 94; and the Los Angeles Lakers 127, Denver 99.

The Knicks had won two in a row after an eight-game losing streak that had coach Isiah Thomas fighting for his job. Marbury, whose feud with Thomas helped send the team into its spiral, insisted the team has not quit on its coach.

But that might not be enough to save Thomas.

``We take two steps forward and one giant step back,'' he said. ``I don't know where this game came from. I thought we played extremely selfish tonight ... Definitely didn't see this type of game coming after the last two games we played. This was just not a good night.''

Not for the Knicks, at least.

But it was for the Celtics.

Kevin Garnett played just 22 minutes, scoring eight points before leaving the game midway through the third quarter with Boston ahead 69-34. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen also sat out the fourth quarter and played 29 minutes apiece.

Rondo dribbled out 24 of the final 26 seconds, turning the ball over on purpose rather than go for a 50-point win. Robinson followed with a long jumper off the inbound pass to save the Knicks from their lowest-scoring game in the shot clock era.

The basket gave Robinson 11 points, the only Knick in double figures, and helped keep Boston from threatening its biggest win, a 153-102 victory over Philadelphia on March 7, 1962.

``I'm never great in math,'' Rivers said. ``So I couldn't figure out if we were up by 30. I wasn't even paying a lot of attention to it. But I knew we were playing well and, obviously, I looked.''

Pierce and Allen scored 21 apiece and Garnett finished with 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who were coming off an overtime loss at Cleveland; just their second defeat of the season. Boston improved to 8-0 at home, and the Knicks remained winless on the road.

The Knicks were last within 10 points with 4:11 left in the first period. They didn't come within 20 after the Celtics took a 39-18 lead with 5:27 left in the second. Boston made it 30 points for good with 9:14 left in the third, and then extended it to 40 less than five minutes later.

Eddie House hit a 3-pointer to give Boston a 50-point lead 93-43 with 8:53 to play in the game.

``It wasn't about the score, it was about us going out there and getting better,'' Pierce said. ``At one point, I didn't even know we were up 40 points.''

  • Warriors 113, Rockets 94

At Oakland, Calif., Baron Davis scored 27 points and undersized Golden State held Yao Ming in check, beating Houston for its eighth win in nine games after an 0-6 start.

Stephen Jackson added 19 points and Al Harrington had 18 for the Warriors (8-7), who became the fastest team in NBA history to post a winning record after losing its first six games. Cleveland took 23 games to do it in 1995-96.

Yao shot 4-for-12 and had five turnovers, finishing with a season-low 10 points.

  • Lakers 127, Nuggets 99

At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 24 points and reserve guard Sasha Vujacic dominated the fourth quarter, scoring 19 of his career-high 22 points and powering Los Angeles to a rout of Denver.

Vujacic shot 6-for-14 in 21 minutes. Andrew Bynum had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Luke Walton added a career-high 14 points in 27 minutes. The Lakers' reserves outscored their Denver counterparts 63-29.

Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 23 points and Allen Iverson had 21. The loss was the Nuggets' third straight, following a 7-1 stretch.