Thomas scores 18, Celtics hold off Knicks for 96-92 win
NEW YORK (AP) -- Isaiah Thomas scored 18 points and Jae Crowder had 17 points and nine rebounds as the Boston Celtics held off a late rally to hand the New York Knicks their 59th loss, matching a franchise record, 96-92 on Friday night.
Brandon Bass scored 16 points, Evan Turner had 15 and Avery Bradley finished with 10 for Boston.
Shane Larkin added 14 points for the Knicks, who lost their sixth straight to drop to 14-59.
Andrea Bargnani tied a season high with 25 points for the Knicks.
The Celtics led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter, but Langston Galloway's 3-pointer with 25 seconds left cut the Knicks' deficit to 92-88.
Thomas then made 1 of 2 free throws with 23 seconds left, and Early did the same with 13 seconds remaining.
After Bass made two free throws with 11 seconds left to make the score 95-89, Jason Smith followed with a 3-pointer with just over a second to go.
Bradley, however, hit a clinching free throw with less than a second remaining.
The Celtics took the lead for good in the first half. After Smith gave the Knicks a 24-21 lead on a short jumper with 11:02 remaining in the second quarter, the Celtics went on a 20-6 run. Bradley's layup with 3:07 left in the half gave the Celtics their first 11-point lead, 41-30.
Boston took a 47-39 lead at halftime and extended it to 10 before the Knicks pulled to 51-50 on Lance Thomas' jumper with 7:55 left in the third quarter.
The Celtics never gave up the lead, though, and increased it to 11 again in the fourth.
Celtics: The Celtics took the season series from the Knicks 3-1. It is the first time Boston has won the season series against the Knicks since going 4-0 during the 2010-11 season. ... Boston leads the all-time series with the Knicks 281-176.
Knicks: Since moving to the current Madison Square Garden in 1968, the Knicks lead the Celtics 60-59 on their newest home floor. In all Knicks' home games, however, the Celtics have a 117-104 advantage. ... Only 10 Knicks dressed for the games due to injuries to Carmelo Anthony (left knee surgery), Jose Calderon (strained left Achilles), Tim Hardaway Jr. (sprained right wrist), Alexey Schved (rib contusion), and Travis Wear (sore lower back).
Celtics: host Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
Knicks: at Chicago on Saturday