EditorsNote: adds new seventh graf with Morris injury; adjusts shooting percentages in third graf
Terry Rozier had a triple-double in his first career start in place of injured guard Kyrie Irving, and Marcus Morris scored 20 points off the bench as the Boston Celtics defeated the visiting New York Knicks 103-73 on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Enes Kanter had 17 points and 17 rebounds and Kristaps Porzingis added 16 points for the Knicks, who had a two-game winning streak snapped.
Even without the services of Irving, sidelined due to a quad contusion, the Celtics dominated offensively, outshooting New York 48.2 percent to 32.2 percent. Boston won for the third time in four games.
Rozier had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists after being informed on Wednesday that he was getting the start for Irving.
“I don’t think (starting) changes what we need (Rozier) to do, what he does,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters earlier in the day. “He’ll probably play more minutes, which everybody loves. But I feel really good about Terry Rozier out there. I think he’s had a great year. He’s shown consistent progress since he’s been here. And it’s a great opportunity for him tonight.”
The Celtics had four starters score in double figures, with Jayson Tatum adding 15 points and Al Horford and Jaylen Brown each scoring 14. Reserve Abdel Nader scored 10 points.
Morris left the game late in the third quarter after sustaining a bruised left hip in a hard fall to the court.
New York had just three players score 10 or more, including reserve Michael Beasley, who had 12 points in 12 minutes. Boston’s bench outscored the Knicks’ 41-27.
Despite Kanter’s big day on the boards, the Knicks were outrebounded 49-44 as five Celtics had five or more rebounds.
Boston led by five at the half but took over midway through the third quarter with a 20-8 run to stretch the lead to 16. The Celtics bumped the lead even further in the fourth quarter, using a 15-0 to take a commanding 96-67 advantage with a little over nine minutes to go.
The 73 points for the Knicks marked their season low, and the 30-point defeat was New York’s biggest loss margin of the season.
--Field Level Media