Many expected the Knicks to struggle to contain Boston’s starters Tuesday night at TD Garden.
Not many could have expected New York to struggle so badly to contain Boston’s second unit.
Heading into the second quarter, the C’s sent out a fivesome of Shane Larkin, Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye and Aron Baynes. That group was nearly unstoppable.
Tatum accounted for Boston’s first 10 points of the quarter, connecting on four consecutive shots that were released from his fingers over a span of exactly three minutes.
Shortly after that spurt, with 7:06 remaining in the second quarter, Tatum dropped a transition pass off to Shane Larkin, who canned a trey from the left wing to push Boston ahead 43-23.
New York called for a timeout after that shot, but the momentum of this contest was never going to shift out of the Celtics’ favor. If the Knicks couldn’t slow down Boston’s second unit, how were they supposed to win the game?
In the end, it was the C’s who cruised to their first blowout victory of the season, 110-89, all while having three of their players (Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kyrie Irving) score 20 or more points.