Sunday, 4 March 2012

Rajon Rondo, Celtics Outlast Jeremy Lin, Knicks In OT, 115-111

Rajon Rondo had his second triple-double in three games, finishing with 18 points, 20 assists and a career-high 17 rebounds, the Celtics ruined Harvard grad Jeremy Lin's return to Boston with a 115-111 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

Rondo played a part in every Celtics point in overtime, collecting five points, five rebounds and two assists in the extra period."I know we're all in this together, but it's great when he takes over like that," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "He's the smartest point guard I've ever been around. He's a brilliant player like that."

Paul Pierce scored 34, including a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left in regulation. Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Ray Allen gave the Celtics the lead for good with a 3-pointer to make it 108-105, then followed it with a fast-break layup -- both on assists from Rondo.Lin, who led the Knicks to seven straight wins after cracking the rotation, had one stretch to remind his fans in Boston what the fuss is all about. Boston led 94-89 with 3:35 left in regulation when he sank the second of two free throws, stole the ball and took it in for a layup and then hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one point.

Anthony took it from there, making the next three Knicks baskets and giving them a 101-100 lead with 36 seconds left. Pierce missed one attempt at a game-winner, but after Novak made a pair of free throws the Celtics captain sank a long, off-balance 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left in regulation to tie it 103-all.

Anthony missed at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

Once there, Rondo took over.

He found Allen on the wing for a 3-pointer that gave Boston a 108-105 lead and, after Lin's driving layup bounced around and off the rim, Rondo wound up with the ball on the fast break and dropped it for Allen for the layup.Lin threw the ball away and Pierce took it in for a layup that made it 66-60 and then, after Lin made a runner, Boston scored another eight in a row to open a 74-62 lead with 3:12 to play in the third. After Baron Davis made a 3-pointer, Boston scored another six in a row, including a 3-pointer from Pierce.

Notes: Allen and J.R. Smith picked up matching technicals after jawing under the basket early in the fourth quarter. ... Celtics F Brandon Bass rolled his left ankle in the third quarter and went to have it taped. He returned. ... Jeff Green, who is out this year after surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm, sat on the Celtics bench in street clothes. ... Doc Rivers spent Saturday night watching his son Austin play for Duke against North Carolina in Durham, N.C. ... The Knicks shot 62 percent (13-for-21) in the second quarter while holding the Celtics to 8-for-22 shooting.

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