Short-handed Celtics down Knicks
NEW YORK - The Boston Celtics coped admirably without suspended point guard Rajon Rondo on Monday as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett came through in a 102-96 NBA victory over the New York Knicks.
Pierce scored 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting and Garnett contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Celtics won their third straight.
Avery Bradley stood in for Rondo after the All-Star guard was banned for one game for bumping an official in a win at Atlanta on Saturday, scoring 13 points with five assists.
Jeff Green chipped in 16 points off the bench and the Celtics played tough defense to limit New York to 40.8 percent shooting.
Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points for New York, but shot just 6-of-26 from the field. His points total was his lowest since he scored 20 against Washington on November 30. Over New York's last 10 games he had averaged more than 34 points.
J.R. Smith finished with 24 points and Tyson Chandler had 13 along with 17 rebounds in the loss for the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks.
The Celtics have strung together three straight wins for just the second time this season. They also won three in a row from November 10-14.
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