The New York Knicks will attempt to extend their winning streak to nine games when they visit the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.
The Knicks continued their winning streak on Friday after Julius Randle made an off-balance 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining in a 122-120 victory at Miami. It was New York’s 11th win in its last 13 games.
“Fate,” Randle said. “It felt good, honestly, when it left my hand. I was in the zone, I guess.”
Randle scored 43 points to lead New York’s offense. He was 16 of 25 from the floor, including 8 of 13 from 3-point range. It was the fourth time he has scored at least 40 points in a game this season.
Jalen Brunson added 25 points for the Knicks despite turning his ankle in the third quarter.
The Knicks also had an eight-game winning streak in December.
“We have a special group and it’s about taking it day by day, step by step,” Randle said.
The Celtics are coming off Friday night’s embarrassing 115-105 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Boston led by 28 points in the second quarter, but the Nets whittled their deficit to nine points by halftime and held the Celtics to 41 points in the second half.
“Just gotta be mature and respond,” said Jaylen Brown, who led Boston with 35 points in the loss.
“We can’t take the game for granted. I know we were up big, but we gotta play each possession like it’s a tie game or we’re down. We let them get going, let them get some confidence and at that moment, when the momentum shifted, they became hard to stop. Everything we did out there kind of spoke for itself.”
The Celtics committed 19 turnovers and were 9-for-29 from 3-point range. Jayson Tatum scored 22 points but was 0-for-7 on 3-point attempts.
“They beat us in every statistical category. and so when that happens, regardless of how hard you play, you put yourself in a tough spot,” Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said. “This was the first time all year we lost our composure and didn’t regain it — something that our guys are really, really good at.
“We got off to a really good start. We lost our mindset and got relaxed and gave that team a chance, and any time you give a team a chance in the NBA, it’ll cost you, so there’s a learning point there. We have to commit to the margins and you can’t get outworked in all those margins and expect to win.”
Boston center Robert Williams left the court in the third quarter of Friday’s loss with hamstring tightness and did not return.
Five of the victories during New York’s eight-game winning streak have come by at least 15 points. That includes a 109-94 win at Boston on Feb. 27.
The Celtics were 9 of 42 from behind the 3-point arc in that loss. Brown did not play in that game for personal reasons, and Tatum was ejected after picking up his second technical foul in the fourth quarter. He had 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
–Field Level Media