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J.R. Smith helps lift Knicks past Celtics, 89-86

Posted By Michael Burke On Jan 24 2013 @ 11:30 pm In New York Knicks | No Comments

What happened: In a traditional Atlantic Division slugfest, the New York Knicks knocked off the reeling Boston Celtics, 89-86.

With the win, the Knicks improve to 26-14 and moved a full game above the Brooklyn Nets in the division, in addition to holding a two game advantage in the loss column.

The loss for the Celtics is their fifth straight, as Boston (20-22) is now two games under the .500 mark.

Revenge?: Tonight’s game was the first meeting between the two teams since the infamous altercation that took place between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett on January 7th following a Celtics win.

This time, Carmelo got the best of KG, scoring 28 points to a mere eight points from Garnett. More importantly, Anthony was on the winning side.

Resilient J.R.: In a fashion that could not suit him better, J.R. Smith began the game making just two of his first 15 shots, only to save the game late for his team.

With just over a minute remaining and the Knicks clinging to a two-point lead, Smith hit a three-pointer that immediately erased his poor performance earlier in the game and gave New York a two possession lead.

A few possession changes later, and it was once again Smith making the big play, this time on the defensive end. Guarding Paul Pierce, Smith was able to force the Celtic superstar to lose the ball out of bounds with just seven seconds left. From there, New York was able to run the clock out.

Stat really back: As he continues to improve, Amar’e Stoudemire once again had his best performance to date this season. Stat scored 15 points on over 50% shooting, while collecting nine rebounds in just 20 minutes.

Most intriguing, the team seemed to play significantly better on both ends of the court with Stoudemire in the game.

Up next: The Knicks will travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers this Saturday, before coming back to Madison Square Garden for a five game homestand. Of the next eight opponents on the Knicks schedule, just one has a winning record, as the Knicks look to build on their division lead.

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