Celtics fall to Knicks 131-129 in grueling double OT thriller

The Boston Celtics fell to the New York Knicks in a double overtime rock fight at TD Garden Sunday night, coming up short 131-129. Boston now moves to 49-20 on the season with a game in Cleveland tomorrow night.

A week ago Boston laid an egg against the Knicks in New York. It was an ugly loss for the Celtics and featured Jayson Tatum’s first career ejection as a pro. The game tonight may arguably be more frustrating for the Celts.

This was Boston’s tenth overtime game of the season, one shy of the NBA record. The Celtics now move to 4-6 in such games. Here’s what you may have missed from Sunday’s action.

Boston's defense was a little flat

The Knicks only managed 18 assists to pair with a 15-for-41 shooting performance from 3. New York’s scoring effort wasn’t necessarily the most efficient.

As a team, though, the Knicks shot 49.5% from the field. They hustled hard on the offensive glass and got out in transition, especially when they began to build a lead during regulation.

The Celtics, meanwhile, didn’t have much in terms of answers when trying to dig in their heels on defense. There were individual plays and moments where Boston came up with a play on the defensive end, but overall the showing simply wasn’t enough.

Immanuel Quickley was particularly good for New York. He ended the night with 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Julius Randle also played quite well for the Knicks. Credit where credit is due, but Boston’s defensive effort didn’t exactly inspire.

Derrick White and Grant Williams were brilliant

With twin injuries to Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams III, Derrick White was thrust back into the starting line up for the Celtics, while Grant Williams once again saw big minutes. White is having a monster season and had played especially well with Boston’s best. Williams has been less consistent but remains an integral part of the team.

On offense White provided a needed spark for a team that was a little flat at times. Though he finished with a pedestrian 12 points, he also had 6 rebounds and 4 assists. White stepped up specifically when the Celtics were lacking a scoring punch.

Williams logged 44 minutes of action including the overtime periods. He didn’t stuff the stat sheet, but Williams was physical and engaged. He and White both offered critical mojo on a night where Boston needed every advantage it could grab.


Boston may be ok without Robert Williams

Robert Williams is Boston’s best interior defender and a cornerstone of the team’s offense. That said, the Celtics may be ok without the springy big man. (It certainly helps that Al Horford has been playing excellent recently. He finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists.)

According to coach Mazzulla, Williams will be out for the next week or so as he rehabs a left hamstring strain. Despite Sunday’s loss, Boston will likely be ok while Williams recovers. Even after tonight, the Celtics are still 27-10 without Williams for the year.

As important as he is to the team’s identity and style, Boston should be able to survive the injury. This could even be a blessing in disguise for the Celtics. Williams has a chance to reset and get himself right ahead of the postseason.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire