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Sport Celtics spoil Knicks’ home opener

04:30  27 october  2019
04:30  27 october  2019 Source:   bostonglobe.com

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With Gordon Hayward in surgery last night, the Celtics coach was going to need more from everyone else. In that respect we’re not just talking But in last night’s 108-100 loss to Milwaukee in the home opener , every combination had a flaw in a decidedly flawed offensive performance from the Celts .

NEW YORK — The night went just about as well as could be expected for the Celtics. They turned a close game into a laugher behind the stellar shooting of Kemba Walker while the rather subdued Madison Square Garden crowd was reinvigorated when Tacko Fall made his NBA debut.

a basketball player in front of a crowd: The Celtics’ Marcus Smart gets up close and personal defending Knicks rookie RJ Barrett during first-half action at Madison Square Garden.© Kathy Willens The Celtics’ Marcus Smart gets up close and personal defending Knicks rookie RJ Barrett during first-half action at Madison Square Garden.

The Celtics coasted to a 118-95 win, outscoring the Knicks, 72-44, in the second half as Walker sparkled playing close to his Bronx home.

BOX SCORE: CELTICS 118, KNICKS 95

He scored 21 points in the second half as the Celtics used the late third-quarter run to put away the Knicks, who appeared to run out of gas after a last-minute loss to Brooklyn on Friday.

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Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks ( Home Opener ) Madison Square Garnden - New York, NY Saturday October 26, 2019 at 7:30pm Section - 118 Row - 17.

Meanwhile, with Celtics centers Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter out with injuries, Fall, the 7-foot-5 rookie from Central Florida, saw his first NBA action with 3:38 left in the game, to the delight of the Garden crowd.

He scored 4 points – both dunks – with two rebounds, conjuring memories of his summer league play and crowd support in Las Vegas.

Here are some observations from the game:

■ It seems like Walker is going to pick and choose his moments to take over, but he does have the capability to take over. He scored 11 consecutive points in a mid-third quarter stretch and then returned to the game in the fourth quarter and made a driving layup to put the Celtics up 14. It was Walker’s best game in his short Celtics’ tenure but it was also done in the flow of the games. His teammates weren’t relegated to sitting and watching.

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Celtics guard Avery Bradley passed the ball past Hornets guard Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the second half.(Chuck Burton/Associated Press). Now the Celtics return to Boston, where they will not play again until facing the Bulls on Wednesday. This time, they are determined not to be shoved

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■ Grant Williams is playing with confidence and is more impressive each time he hits the floor. He isn’t the most athletic player or biggest forward, but he always seems to make the right play or is in the right place. There were several instances Saturday where his veteran teammates flipped him the ball approaching the basket, and Jaylen Brown tossed an alley-oop to Williams to begin a Celtics’ run in the fourth quarter.

■ RJ Barrett is going to be a problem for a lot of years if he continues to develop. He was by far the Knicks’ best player, scoring 26 points points in 36 minutes and looking like the only New York player comfortable against the Celtics defense.

■ With Theis and Kanter out with injuries, Celtics coach Brad Stevens was forced to patchwork his big men, shuttling Robert Williams, Grant Williams and Vincent Poirier to defend Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle. It seems Stevens doesn’t yet trust Poirier, the rookie from France, and he gave him a quick hook on a couple of occasions. Poirier playing played just four first-half minutes.

Gregg Popovich again slams Marcus Morris, Knicks ahead of season opener

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The Celtics opened their season at home Friday night against the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors, but not before one of their newest members fired up the home Kemba Walker addressed TD Garden for the first time as a member of the Celtics on Friday night after team introductions.

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■ The Celtics have no issue passing the ball and making the right play, but they are having an awful time scoring. They again went through a scoring skid — 5 points in the final 5:08 of the first half — and watched the Knicks end the second quarter on a 16-5 run. The Celtics missed 19 3-pointers in the first half and finished at 32.7 percent shooting.

■ The Celtics shot 36.7 percent in the season-opening loss to Philadelphia and 38.5 percent in Friday’s win over Toronto. There is no one culprit but Jayson Tatum, who entered Saturday’s game 16 for 44 over the first two games, was 1 for 9 at halftime, many of those open looks.

■ Carsen Edwards received a DNP-coach’s decision in Friday’s win over Toronto but returned Saturday late in the first period to spell Walker. Edwards immediately launched a 3-pointer. The rookie seems so eager to make a quick impact that he sometimes feels the need to score. He settled down and canned a midrange jumper with 6.6 left in the quarter. Edwards then picked off an errant Knicks pass and turned it into a clear-path foul to open the second period.

Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.

Related slideshow: 2019-20 NBA season (Provided by imagn)

a crowd of people watching a football ball: Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) reaches for a loose ball in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Tatum hits winning shot, Celtics edge Ntilikina, Knicks 104-102 .
Jayson Tatum hit a game-winning jumper with 1.3 seconds remaining over RJ Barrett to cap a wild finish in the Celtics 104-102 victory at TD Garden. BOSTON — Stopping Kemba Walker proved too difficult — even for Frank Ntilikina — and Jayson Tatum buried the Knicks.

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