Home » Blog » Knicks End Drought, Knock Off Celtics, Pacers Take Series against Hawks

Knicks End Drought, Knock Off Celtics, Pacers Take Series against Hawks

On Friday, the New York Knicks fought off a rallying Boston Celtics to win 88-80 and take the series, ending a 12-year playoff drought to advance.

It was back in the day with Patrick Ewing, Latrell Sprewell, Marcus Camby (still on the team) helping lead the Knicks to the 2000 Eastern Conference finals but now it’s Carmelo Anthony’s team.

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony

Anthony scored 21 points and helped his team take back most of their 26-point lead in the second half for the victory.

With a 75-49 advantage, the Knicks watched the Celtics score 20 consecutive points that whittled the lead down to four points. Iman Shumpert stopped the run at the 5:05 mark. Anthony swooped in to give his team a 81-75 lead with more than three minutes remaining.

Then, his rare 3-pointer (1 for 20 in this series), followed by J.R. Smith’s three points put the nail in the coffin for the win.

Anthony said of the game via CBS Sports, “You should never play with any doubt out there on the basketball court. I can’t step onto the court thinking of failure. When you start second-guessing everything, when you start playing with doubt … I can’t afford to play under those circumstances.”

Next up for the Knicks is the semifinals against the nemesis Indiana Pacers. Game 1 is on Sunday in New York with Knicks at 14 to 1 to win this year’s NBA Championship.

As for the Celtics, they’re at a crossroad. The team could look different next year, beginning with the question of whether or not Kevin Garnett will return.

On Friday, he scored 15 points with 10 rebounds for the Celtics. His fellow aging teammate Paul Pierce added 14 points (4 for 18 shooting) with one 3-pointer (one for nine); he could also see his career ending.

Then there’s coach Doc Rivers who he said he’s uncertain about his future and his veteran players.

Somehow I think we’ll see a different team in 2014.

Pacers Defeat Hawks 81-73

Pacers David West

Pacers David West

The Pacers had their own challenges on Friday night as the Hawks also staged a solid comeback in the fourth quarter but fell short.

Indiana entered with a 65-50 lead. The Hawks clawed their way back in this last quarter and with 2:13 remaining, made it a three-point game at 76-73.

But that was it as Atlanta went cold. The Pacers quickly put up two points to extend their lead and then keep it as the Hawks stopping scoring in the game’s remaining 2:41.

It wasn’t their only time struggling with scoring. In the game, the Hawks only had 26 for 78 in shooting (33 percent). Al Horford led in scoring with 15 points, followed by Josh Smith and Devin Harris with their 14 points.

For the Pacers, George Hill and David West each had 21 points. Roy Hibbert contributed 17 points with 11 rebounds while Lance Stephenson added 11 rebounds.

With the 81-73 win, the Pacers closed out the series, 4-2 and will advance in the playoffs in another potentially great Knicks matchup. New York is hungry for a Championship visit and history has involved a Pacers matchup along the way.

In the last 40 years, the two times the Knicks made it to the Finals (1994 and 1999), it came after defeating the Pacers who are 33 to 1 to win it all this year.

Will things happen in three?

Meanwhile, just as the Celtics will likely undergo change for next season, the Hawks are in a similar boat as they have only three players from their current roster under contract for 2014; Horford is the sole starter in this group. The team could also have a new coach as Larry Drew has ended the last year of his contract, and general manager Danny Ferry could put his own guy in to coach.

Veteran and Atlanta native Smith will enter into free agency. For now, the player said he is not worried how the future will shake out.



  • 100%