The Knicks closed out the regular season with a 112-102 loss to the Celtics, who they will be playing in the first round of the playoffs. Here’s a quick take on how the game went:
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: The Knicks used an 10-2 run at the end of the third quarter to pull to within 86-84 after a pair of Bill Walker free throws. The Celtics promptly started the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run, capped by a Troy Murphy slam to put Boston up, 97-84. The Knicks never recovered after that.
WHAT IT MEANS: When the Knicks open their first round playoff series against the Celtics, there will be plenty of star power between the two teams. But that wasn’t the case in the final game of the regular season, as Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo watched from the sidelines. That being said, it was an important game for Amare Stoudemire, who returned from an ankle injury to play 20 minutes and score 14 points and grab four rebounds. Stoudemire had missed the previous three games and looked rusty, shooting just 6 for 15 while blowing a wide open dunk.
ORANGE WATCH: Anthony didn’t play as coach Mike D’Antoni elected to rest his star players.
STAR GAZING: Landry Fields, who has struggled since the trade for Anthony, led the way with 16 points. Ronny Turiaf, who before the game was named the starter for Sunday’s opening game, scored eight points. Avery Bradley scored 20 points to lead six different Celtics in double digits.
WHAT’S NEXT: Game 1 of the first round will be played on Sunday in Boston at 7 p.m.