Celtics withstand Knicks rally for 119-114 Christmas Day win
NEW YORK (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points, Marcus Smart made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 47 seconds left after Boston blew a late lead, and the Celtics beat the New York Knicks 119-114 on Sunday.
The Knicks wiped out a late nine-point deficit with an out-of-nowhere 11-2 run in a little more than a minute, but Smart answered with his shot and Avery Bradley and Al Horford made big defensive plays afterward.
Jae Crowder and Kelly Olynyk each had 16 points for the Celtics, who won for the fifth time in six games.
Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and Derrick Rose had 25 for the Knicks, who fell to 22-29 in their NBA-record 51 Christmas appearances.
The Knicks led for much of the first half before Crowder made three straight 3-pointers as Boston surged into the lead en route to a 56-48 halftime advantage. The Celtics rarely built the lead much bigger in the second half, but also never let the Knicks make much of a dent in it, always coming up with some stops and points whenever it got within a couple of possessions.
Suddenly Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis scored all the points in the run that tied it at 112 on Anthony’s layup with 1:06 to play, but Boston wasn’t rattled.
The Celtics worked it around to Smart for his 3, and Bradley forced Anthony to turn it over on New York’s next possession. Thomas hit a free throw to…