The Boston Celtics will have plenty of time to rest before they take on their next opponents in the Eastern Conference playoffs after quickly sweeping the New York Knicks, 4-0, in the opening round best-of-seven series.
The injury-depleted Knicks simply didn’t have enough scoring power to keep up with a balanced Celtics squad, falling 101-89 in game four April 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Veteran center Kevin Garnett led Boston with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo followed with 21 points and 12 assists. Forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis added 14 points off the bench.
Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points with 9 rebounds, but center Amar’e Stoudemire struggled with back spasms, scoring just 19 points with 12 rebounds. With veteran guard Chauncey Billups sidelined with a knee injury, New York had no one else to turn to for points, and Boston took advantage.
“It was all heart. just gave it all, injured. With him and Carmelo going forward, the Knicks are in good shape,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said during a postgame press conference.
Boston will now wait until May 2 to begin their second-round series, in which they will face either the Miami Heat or the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers won 86-82 in game four of that series April 24, but Miami holds a 3-1 series lead.
“We know we have played very well when we’ve had rest and preparation time,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “So those are always good.”