A hard playing Knicks team lost a heart-breaker in overtime, as Kevin Garnett (10 pts on 4-15 shooting), who had been having problems most of the game, hit a two-pointer at the buzzer for the Celtics. Coming off a two game winning streak, including a game yesterday against the Nets, the Knicks played respectable team defense most of the game holding the Celts to 42% shooting and forcing 16 turnovers. Offensively, the Knicks, showing great balance, shot 43% as five players, including high-scoring reserves Al Harrington (30pts) and Nate Robinson (19pts), scored in double figures.
The Knicks ended the first half only down three points due to defensive intensity and activity. The bench scoring was critical as Harrington and Robinson led the Knicks in scoring while the starters were in single figures. Inexcusably, the Celtics took control of the game at the beginning of the third quarter as the Celts turned a three point lead into a 14 point lead. With 5:13 remaining in an exciting game, the score was 89-89 and stellar offensive plays inside the arc and paint down the stretch by Al Harrington, Wilson Chandler and David Lee kept the Knicks in the game. With four seconds left in regulation, Harrington tied the game with two free throes and Rondo missed a shot at the buzzer.
The tense overtime saw some excellent defensive play especially given that the players were tired, especially the Knicks who were on the end of a back-to-back. Again Harrington was stellar as he continued to drive to the basket for scores. However, the Knicks suffered a couple of defensive lapses that cost them the game. First they failed to use a foul to give as Pierce made his move before he dished it to Garnett. And once Garnett received the ball on the pick and roll, no one had rotated to challenge the buzzer-shot which popped the nets triumphantly. Celtics win.
Can somebody explain the multitude of rotations and the reasoning behind them? Here are just a few that I caught during the game.
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