Knicks 92, Celtics 74

Preview | Box Score | Recap

BOSTON (AP)—The New York Knicks are finally starting to come together after their changes. Boston is still trying to figure things out.

Stephon Marbury scored 17 points and Michael Doleac added 15 as New York handed the Celtics their second straight loss under interim coach John Carroll, 92-74 Friday night.

“They usually play with a lot more intensity,” Marbury said. “They never, ever quit. Tonight they didn’t look like they were familiar with each other.”

New York, which was swept by the Celtics the past two seasons, has won all three games against Boston this season. The Celtics lost for the seventh time in nine games.

“It didn’t seem like we had much of anything,” Carroll said. “Nothing was in sync. … Those guys were on our heels and they smelled blood.”

Shandon Anderson and Keith Van Horn had 16 apiece and Dikembe Mutombo finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who were without starting guard Allan Houston (sore knee).

Mark Blount scored a career-high 22 points with 11 rebounds for the Celtics, whose coach, Jim O’Brien, quit Tuesday.

“This wasn’t fun. It wasn’t pretty,” Boston forward Walter McCarty said. “This was definitely out of character for our team, but we can’t blame it on anything. No excuses.”

The Knicks, who also had a coaching change in the past month, went on a 8-0 run, keyed by six points from Anderson, to close the third quarter with a 78-57 lead.

New York extended its edge to 84-57 on a pair of buckets from Doleac and a basket from Othella Harrington. The Celtics finally ended a scoreless drought of more than eight minutes when Ricky Davis scored with 8:50 left to make it 84-59. Davis followed with a dunk before Paul Pierce, who shot 3-of-16, missed a breakaway dunk.

The next time down the floor Pierce shot his second airball of the game. The crowd booed, and Pierce mocked the fans with his arms in the air.

“It was just one of those days,” Pierce said. “We haven’t had one of these in a long time. We’ve just got to put it behind us and move on. If we worry about what happened tonight, we’ll go nowhere.”

The Knicks clinched the season series against Boston for the first time since 2000-01 and moved within one game of the Celtics in the Atlantic Division.

“Every win for us is huge,” Knicks coach Lenny Wilkens said. “We have to establish that we can win on the road, too, and I think they are starting to do

Notes

Houston could be sidelined through the All-Star break. … Blount, who has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 11 games, set his career-high on a dunk 1:21 into the second quarter. … The Celtics are 2-5 with Chris Mihm in the starting lineup. … The crowd began chanting “Let’s Go Patriots” after the Celtics trailed by 27 late in the third quarter. They began booing Carroll early in the fourth. … Boston shot 2-of-21 from 3-point range, which was aseason-low in 3-pointers made.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 New York
S. Marbury S. Marbury
6-13,  17 Pts
2 Rebs, 7 Assists
 Boston
M. Blount M. Blount
9-12,  22 Pts
11 Rebs, 0 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists