Thursday , Mar , 01 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Jefferson, Celtics down Knicks

Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Al Jefferson poured in 26 points with nine
rebounds and Paul Pierce added 24 points as Boston jumped out to a large
halftime lead then held on for dear life in a 102-94 victory over the New York
Knicks at the TD Banknorth Garden.

Gerald Green donated 21 points and Brian Scalabrine compiled 14 points for the
Celtics, who won back-to-back games for the first time since a five-game
streak from December 9-16.

Quentin Richardson scored 24 points and pulled down eight rebounds, Stephon
Marbury totaled 23 points and dished out six assists, while Jared Jeffries and
Eddy Curry added 16 points apiece in the loss. The Knicks have alternated wins
and losses in their last 10 games and lost for the fourth straight time on the
road.

“We have to be a little tougher than that,” Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas
said. “Mentally we have to be a little bit more tough minded to just grind it
out to do the little things to win the basketball game.”

The game looked like a Celtics rout early, as Boston opened a 27-19 lead after
one stanza then added to its advantage in the second. A 10-0 stretch pushed
the lead to 48-26 with 3:55 on the clock. Four different player scored with
Scalabrine’s jumper capping the stretch.

Boston led 57-37 at the break.

The Knicks came storming back in the third period, going on a 13-1 run to cut
the deficit to 58-50. Boston missed its first four shots of the second half
and Channing Frye’s turnaround ended the spurt.

Jefferson made the Celtics’ first field goal of the half with 7:12 on the
clock. The Knicks drew even closer at 65-62 after Richardson drained a three-
pointer with 4:43 to play then the guard knocked down another to bring the
Knicks within one at 74-73.

New York eventually took an 81-79 lead on Marbury’s three with 9:18 on the
fourth quarter clock, but Green scored seven straight points during a key
stretch in the fourth to turn an 88-87 deficit into a 94-88 edge with 3:01
left.

“Gerald has got great confidence in his shot,” Boston head coach Doc Rivers
said.

The Knicks didn’t threaten from there.

Game Notes

Boston buried 10-of-19 from beyond the arc…The game featured zero ties and
four lead changes…Steve Francis (knee) and David Lee (ankle) continue to
miss time for the Knicks…Boston won the season series, 3-1…The loss
snapped a brief two-game winning streak for the Knicks in Boston…Attendance
was 17,003.

BOS NYK