By Adrian Stewart Co
Marcus Smart came up with clutch hits as Boston Celtics prevailed over New York Knicks, 101-99, in the 2020-2021 NBA Season on Wednesday night (Thursday in the Philippines) at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
Smart broke the final deadlock of the match with a triple with 32 seconds left before following it up with two free throw conversions to put the Celtics on top 99-93.
The Knicks made its last push at 96-93 on a three-pointer by Elfrid Payton but Jayson Tatum answered with two free throws to seal the victory for the Celtics.
Smart finished the game with 17 points to go along with nine assists and four rebounds as the Celtics bounced back from a defeat to improve to 26-26 win-loss slate.
Jaylen Brown tallied double-double 32 points and 10 rebounds, while Tatum contributed 25 markers, 10 boards and five assists as Robert Williams hauled 10 rebounds to go with four points for Boston.
RJ Barrett top-scored with 29 points, Julius Randle chipped in 22 markers, while Derrick Rose contributed 11 points as the Knicks dropped to 25-27 slate.
Meanwhile, Kevin Durant made a triumphant return from almost two months of absence as the Brooklyn Nets (36-16) walloped New Orleans Pelicans (22-29).
Durant, who was sidelined due to strained right hamstring, drained all of his five shot attempts to finish with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists for the Nets.
Kyrie Irving finished the game with 24 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 22, while Joe Harris, Chris Chiozza, Jeff Green, and Blake Griffin had 14, 12, 11 and 10, respectively, for the Nets.
In other results, Indiana Pacers (23-27) escaped with a 141-137 victory over Minnesota Timberwolves (13-39), while Washington Wizards (19-32) prevailed over Orlando Magic (17-35), 131-116.
BOSTON 101 – Brown 32, Tatum 28, Smart 17, Thompson 7, R. Williams 6, Langford 6, Ojeleye 6, Pritchard 2, G. Williams 0.
NEW YORK 99 – Barrett 29, Randle 22, Rose 11, Payton 8, Burks 8, Noel 7, Bullock 6, Quickley 5, Toppin 2, Gibson 1.
Quarterscores: 21-19, 47-46, 70-73, 101-99./ASC, WDJ