Celtics crush Knicks
Boston Celtics' Avery Bradley right, drives the ball around New York Knicks' Tim Hardaway Jr. during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in New York. The Celtics won 114-73. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee (11) knocks the ball loose from New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in New York. The Celtics won 114-73. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Boston Celtics' Jeff Green (8) drives the ball against New York Knicks' Raymond Felton (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in New York. The Celtics won 114-73. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
NEW YORK — Another sizzling start for the Celtics, only this time they kept pouring it on.
By the time they were finished, they had battered the New York Knicks in the most lopsided NBA game this season.
Jordan Crawford made six 3-pointers and scored 23 points, and Boston won its third straight with a 114-73 victory on Sunday.
Jared Sullinger added 21 for the Celtics, who jumped to leads of 12-0, 18-1 and 25-3 and improved their Atlantic Division-leading record to 10-12.
“It was just fun to get a win like that in here because I’ve been on the other side of it a couple times. It’s good to get a win against the division,” Crawford said.
Boston scored the first 14 points Friday in a victory over Denver, though that one eventually got close.
Not this time.
The Celtics led 58-31 at halftime, then Crawford made four 3-pointers in a 34-point third quarter that extended Boston’s lead to 92-56. The Celtics then scored the first four points of the fourth for a 40-point bulge, triggering loud boos that would get louder at the final buzzer.
“I think the biggest thing today was coming out after halftime and keeping it going. That’s hard to do,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Boston led by as much as 45 and went on to surpass a 38-point victory by the Clippers over Chicago that had been the NBA’s biggest victory this season. The Celtics shot 54 percent overall and 56 percent from 3-point range in the rematch of the Knicks’ first-round playoff victory last season.
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points for the Knicks, who had done to them what they had done to their previous two opponents. Coming off a 30-point victory over Brooklyn and a 38-point rout of Orlando, the Knicks finished with season lows in points and field goal percentage (34.2).
“It’s a step backwards. I thought we had turned the corner somewhat,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said in taking much of the blame. “I can’t have our guys stepping on the floor doing what they did tonight.”
Starting guards Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert were both 0 for 6, center Andrea Bargnani was 1 for 7, and Anthony finished 5 of 15.
“It’s just one of those games where it happens,” Felton said. “You hate that it happens, you hate to get beat like that inside your building. It was nasty game, it’s a bad taste in our mouth right now.”
Jeff Green and Brandon Bass each scored 16 for the Celtics, who stay in New York for the next couple of days during something of a reunion week. They face Kevin Garnett and Brooklyn Tuesday for the first time in the regular season since last summer’s blockbuster trade, then return home to face former coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers on Wednesday.
It was 12-0 before the Knicks finally got on the board on Anthony’s free throw after the Celtics were called for a defensive 3-second violation. Crawford and Sullinger then hit consecutive 3-pointers to make it 18-1 before the Knicks finally made a basket on Anthony’s dunk with 5:45 remaining.
“We were aggressive on the ball,” Green said. “We forced them to play on their heels.”
The Celtics led 34-11 after one and opened a 26-point lead when Courtney Lee nailed a 3-pointer to open the second. Leading by 17 late in the period, then ran off 12 in a row, Green’s three-point play making it 58-29 with 37 seconds remaining.
Knicks starters were 3 for 23 in the first half.
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