Knicks takeaways from Sunday's 96-92 win over Celtics, including No. 4 seed in Eastern Conference secured

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Knicks Julius Randle backs down vs Celtics
Knicks Julius Randle backs down vs Celtics

The Knicks secured the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference for the NBA playoffs with a 96-92 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Here are some key takeaways...

- Julius Randle got off to a hot start by scoring 10 of the Knicks' first 13 points, as the Celtics rested nearly all of their key players. Big man Tacko Fall grabbed an offensive rebound and got fouled by Randle with 0.2 seconds remaining in the quarter, as he made one foul shot to give Boston a 24-23 lead after the first quarter.

- After Derrick Rose tied the game up at 30-30 with a driving layup, Taj Gibson found Obi Toppin under the basket for an easy layup to give the Knicks a 32-30 lead with 8:50 remaining in the second. RJ Barrett used his strength down low to score over former Knick Luke Kornet, as Randle would make a pair of free throws on the next possession to extend the Knicks' lead to four points.

- Alec Burks nailed his third three-pointer of the half with 2:57 remaining, giving him 11 points already in the game. Nerlens Noel got a steal on a bad pass from Carsen Edwards, and was rewarded on the offensive end by Barrett with an alley-oop jam. Reggie Bullock drilled a three-pointer with 35 seconds left to put the Knicks up 54-39 at the half.

New York outscored Boston 31-15 in the second quarter ending on a 12-0 run, and shot 61.5 percent from three in the half with eight makes from deep.

- Barrett made a deep three-pointer as the shock clock expired to put the Knicks up 60-48 with 6:31 left in the third, as Celtics head coach Brad Stevens called timeout to regroup his squad. A driving and-one layup from Barrett extended the Knicks' lead to 21 points, and gave him 22 for the game.

Jabari Parker helped the Celtics cut into the Knicks' lead, as they trailed 77-65 after the third quarter.

- Randle was called for an offensive foul, and Celtics guard Tremont Waters made a three-pointer on the following possession to make it a 91-83 game. Romeo Langford then scored on a layup, as the Celtics trailed just 91-85 after an 11-0 run and forced Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau to call timeout with 5:12 left in the game.

- Bullock made a mid-range jumper to put the Knicks up 95-92 with under two minutes left in the game. Noel came up big with block on Carsen Edwards and then another on Waters as he drove to the rim trying to draw contact. The Knicks wasted as much time as they could before forcing the Celtics to foul Randle with 12.3 seconds remaining. He would connect on the second shot to put the Knicks up 96-92 and close out the game.

Randle finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 37 minutes of action. Barrett scored 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 6 of 8 from the foul line.

Highlights

What's next

The Knicks earned the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference with the win, and will match up against the No. 5 seed Atlanta Hawks.