Apr. 17, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) reacts on the court during the first half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Paul Pierce scores 43, Boston Celtics still lose

Paul Pierce is the best former Kansas Jayhawks player currently in the NBA, and one of the greatest players in Boston Celtics history. Despite scoring 43 points for the C’s against the New York Knicks, the Celtics still lost 118-110 at MSG.

The Knicks were fueled by a triple-double from their superstar Carmelo Anthony, who is easily their best player at this point. I never get why some fans say that they would have “Random Role Player X” over ‘Melo. Anthony went 13-24 and 7-8 from the charity stripe for an efficient 35 points. He had five turnovers and fouls apiece, but he also had 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and two steals in a terrific performance.

Pierce was also great, as he went 11-19, 4-6 from three, and an insane 17-18 from the foul line. That last stat says it all, as he put Boston on his back and almost willed them to victory. Pierce also added three assists and two steals in the losing effort, and the Celtics outscored the Knicks by six with him on the floor.

When the Celtics starters were on the floor, they outscored New York by five. The bench ended with a -45 overall in a combined 5o minutes, as only Keyon Dooling (1-5) scored any points off the bench.

Boston was out-rebounded 36-26, with Brandon Bass and Rajon Rondo (13 assists) leading the way for the 36-26 (15-17 away) Boston Celtics with six boards.

Bass went 6-8 (15 points), Rondo 5-8 (13 points), Kevin Garnett was 7-14 with 20 points, five rebounds, and three stocks, and Avery Bradley went for a healthy 6-9 (5-6 from three) with 17 total points. Bradley has become an important player on the Celtics and has finally shown why he was known as a sleeper.

The Knicks are 21-11 at home, and three players had a lot to do with that. Tyson Chandler shot 9-10 from the floor and will once again lead the league in true shooting percentage. The ultra-efficient center is also a terrific hustle player and defender, and he finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. The other three Knicks starters finished with just eight points, and Baron Davis was blanked in 18 minutes of play.

However, the two sharp-shooters off the bench cannot be overlooked. Steve Novak went 8-10 (all threes) for 25 points, and J.R. Smith equaled that total on 8-16 shooting (7-10 from downtown).

Novak is one of the most efficient shooters in the game, while Smith is a great talent and can shoot the rock, but he also takes bad shots which hurts his shooting numbers (deservedly so). In this game, he did take some bad shots, but he was terrific from three and finished with a game-high +17. He also had four rebounds and six assists and was third on the team with 36 minutes.


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Tags: Avery Bradley Baron Davis Boston Celtics Brandon Bass Carmelo Anthony J.R. Smith Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Kevin Garnett Keyon Dooling Madison Square Garden New York Knicks Paul Pierce Rajon Rondo Steve Novak Tyson Chandler

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