Smart response gives Celtics Christmas win over Knicks

Doyle BarkerDec 27, 2016

The Celtics seemingly had their fifth win in six games secure when they held leads of 109-96 with 4:58 remaining and 112-104 with two minutes left.

The Celtics led in the entire second half.

"This is bigger than sports", Carmelo told ESPN. Lee shoots the three at a 46.7 percent clip, second-best in the NBA, and * a href="http://stats.nba.com/players/shooting/#!?Season=2016-17&SeasonType=Regular%20Season&DistanceRange=By%20Zone&sort=Right%20Corner%203%20FG%20PCT&dir=1&CF=Left%20Corner%203%20FGA*GE*0.5:Right%20Corner%203%20FGA*GE*0.5" *sits near the top of the league shooting 50 percent from both corners. In the final 40 seconds on Sunday, Carmelo Anthony missed a key 3-pointer, the Knicks got the offensive rebound and Anthony over-dribbled and had the ball stolen by Avery Bradley.

"I thought our guys really battled and the response was great when they did tie it up", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. Celtics starting forward Jae Crowder came back in the game to score nine points during the run with three 3-pointers as Boston took a 56-48 at halftime. Horford and Smart contributed for 15 points each for the Celtics, who never trailed after the 5:14 mark of the second quarter.

"We made bad decisions and (the Celtics) were smart", Porzingis said.

When the Knicks tried to make a Christmas comeback, the Celtics' response was strong and Smart. Jarell's parents and younger brother shared in the emotional moment, making Anthony their plus-one in a Lara family group hug.

"This is the best Christmas I've ever had", said Jarell, who just finished an intense 18-month chemotherapy session to put his rare form of cancer - Langerhans cell histiocytosis - in remission.

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