BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown had 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for his first career triple-double, Jayson Tatum scored 19 points and the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 99-75 on Saturday night.
Josh Richardson had 17 points and Robert Williams finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the Celtics, who split the home-and-home series after the Knicks rallied from 25 points down on Thursday in New York.
Boston lost 108-105 on a 3-pointer banked in by RJ Barrett at the buzzer. The Celtics fell behind early Saturday, but built a big lead with a dominant third quarter and didn’t let this one get away.
“Any time you blow a lead like that, you’re not going to forget it. We learned from that experience. That’s all it is,” Brown said.
Brown was also not about to forget his first triple-double, which he attributed to additional work in practice and the film room.
"This was a game where some of that hard work paid off. Shout-out to the coaching staff,” said Brown, who knew he was within range at the end of the third quarter with 16 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds but didn't want to focus on it.
“I wanted to just keep playing basketball. I’m not trying to stat chase. I’m not a guy that’s trying to do that,” Brown said. “It’s definitely a milestone in my career to get the first one and I’m looking to get a lot more.”
Barrett had 19 points. Julius Randle added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who were strong from beyond the arc in the first half but couldn’t overcome poor free throw shooting. New York was 11 of 31 on 3-pointers, but finished just 6 for 15 from the foul line.
A follow shot by Mitchell Robinson following a missed free throw by Barrett with 0.9 seconds left pulled New York within 44-42 at halftime, but the Celtics took over in the third quarter.
“I liked the way we played in the first half, but the first five or six minutes of the third, we got back on our heels and they went on a run," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I thought we got some really good, quality shots in the first half, but then in the second half we probably held on to it a little too long and they were able to get up and down the floor.”
Boston opened the third on a 10-2 run and made 11 of 19 shots, getting a 3-pointer by Brown with a second remaining for a 76-60 lead. The Celtics kept it going after the break, opening the fourth with back-to-back 3-pointers by Richardson and Tatum that pushed the lead to 82-60 with 10:09 left to play.
"To win on the road, you have to play 48 minutes and we didn’t do that tonight," Thibodeau said.
Randle was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Saturday for what the league called an “egregious” use of profane language in interviews.
The league cited Randle’s use of profanity in interviews with the media following a practice and again Thursday night following the victory over Boston.
Boston coach Ime Udoka, who questioned his team's mental toughness following Thursday's loss in New York, said the Celtics responded just as they should have. He was pleased that Boston held New York to just 42 points in the first half, then thrilled when the Celtics allowed the Knicks just 33 points in the second half.
“We’ve done it half-by-half several times this year and tonight we put a full one together,” Udoka said.
Knicks: Immanuel Quickley had 18 points. … G Evan Fournier, who scored a career-high 41 points Thursday against his former team, was out with a left thigh contusion. New York was also without G Kemba Walker, who missed his fifth straight with a sore left knee.
Celtics: Marcus Smart finished with 10 points. … Al Horford was the only Boston starter not to score in double figures. Horford finished with three points, four rebounds and five assists. … Boston successfully challenged an offensive foul called on Smart in the second quarter, getting it reversed after a video review.
Knicks: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.
Celtics: Host the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
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