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Rozier triple-double in first career start lifts C's

Field Level Media
January 31. 2018 10:55PM
Celtics guard Terry Rozier holds up three fingers after making a 3-pointer during the first quarter of Boston's 103-73 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at TD Garden. Rozier, starting for the injured Kyrie Irving, had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. (USA TODAY Sports)

Terry Rozier had a triple-double in his first career start, in place of the injured Kyrie Irving, and Marcus Morris had 20 points off the bench as the Boston Celtics defeated the visiting New York Knicks, 103-73, on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Enes Kanter had 17 points and 17 rebounds and Kristaps Porzingis added 16 points to lead the Knicks, who had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Even without the services of Irving, sidelined with a quad contusion, the Celtics dominated offensively, outshooting New York 48 percent to 33 percent. Boston won for the third time in four games.

Rozier had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists after being informed on Wednesday that he was getting the start in place of Irving.

“I don’t think it changes what we need to do, what he does,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters earlier in the day. “He’ll probably play more minutes, which everybody loves. But I feel really good about Terry Rozier out there. I think he’s had a great year. He’s shown consistent progress since he’s been here. And it’s a great opportunity for him tonight.”

The Celtics had four starters score in double figures, with Jayson Tatum adding 15 points and Al Horford and Jaylen Brown each scoring 14.

New York had just three players score 10 or more, including Michael Beasley, who had 12 points in 12 minutes. Aside from Beasley, Boston’s bench outscored the Knicks’ 41-15.

Despite Kanter’s big day on the boards, the Knicks were outrebounded, 49-44, as five Celtics had five or more rebounds.

Boston led by five at the half but took over midway through the third quarter with a 20-8 run to stretch the lead to 16. The Celtics stretched the lead even further in the fourth quarter, using a 15-0 to take a commanding 96-67 advantage with a little over nine minutes to go.

The 73 points for the Knicks marked their season low, and the 30-point defeat was the biggest loss margin of the season.

Cavaliers 91, Heat 89: At Cleveland, LeBron James scored a game-high 24 points. James struggled from the field, shooting 8 of 21, and committed seven turnovers but finished with 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who remain third in the Eastern Conference, now 1½ games ahead of Miami.

Hornets 123, Hawks 110: At Atlanta, Charlotte guard Kemba Walker scored 38 points, responding after the Atlanta Hawks nearly caught up, as the Hornets collected a rare road victory on Wednesday night.

Walker scored 16 of his 19 third-quarter points after Atlanta trimmed the margin to one point midway through the period.

Walker finished with a career-best nine 3-point baskets on 13 attempts from long range.

Teammate Nic Batum provided a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.