Three Key Storylines
- Kristaps Porzingis stars in return
- Big night for "The Stock Exchange"
- Jaylen Brown gets ejected
The Boston Celtics' dominance at TD Garden continued Friday night against the New York Knicks.
With a 133-123 victory, the C's improved to 10-0 on their home court this season. The Denver Nuggets (9-0) are the only other NBA team that has yet to lose at home.
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Friday's matchup featured plenty of offense as it marked only the fourth Celtics-Knicks game ever in which the two teams combined for more than 200 points through three quarters. Boston is now 3-0 this season against New York.
All five Celtics starters -- and veteran big man Al Horford (14 points) -- scored in double figures. Derrick White (30 points) and Jayson Tatum (25 points) led the way in the scoring column.
The Knicks trio of R.J. Barrett (23 points), Jalen Brunson (23 points), and Julius Randle (20 points) had a strong outing, but it wasn't enough to keep up with the Celtics' offensive onslaught.
The Celtics (16-5) will enjoy three days off before hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers (12-9) on Tuesday night. Here are three quick takeaways from Friday's win.
C's backcourt shines
Derrick White and Jrue Holiday showed Friday night why they're considered one of the best starting backcourt tandems in the league. The duo -- dubbed "The Stock Exchange" by White's father Richard -- combined for 46 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists vs. New York.
White started hot with 10 first-quarter points. He also helped to widen Boston's lead with 11 points (3-3 3-PT) in the third.
He ended up leading his team with a season-high 30 points -- three shy of his career-high -- on an efficient 10-of-16 shooting (6-10 3-PT). In addition, he showed off his All-Defensive talents with two steals and two blocks. The TD Garden crowd showed its appreciation by chanting "MVP" when White stepped to the free-throw line late in the fourth quarter.
Holiday had one of his best offensive performances of the season with 16 points (7-11 FG) and five assists. Eleven of his points came in the first half.
The perennial All-Defensive selection added two steals and a block. When "The Stock Exchange" gets it going on both ends of the court, the C's are next to impossible to stop.
Kristaps Porzingis stars in return
Porzingis returned to the C's starting lineup after missing the last four games with a calf injury and didn't miss a beat.
He immediately made his presence felt by scoring the Celtics' first eight points of the game with a dunk and two 3-pointers in under two minutes. The 7-foot-3 Latvian finished the first quarter with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting and he was only warming up.
Porzingis' first half was almost perfect. He made his first seven shots to go 7-for-8 (3-4 3-PT) and notch 19 points through the first two frames.
It was a quieter second half for Porzingis, who finished the game with 21 points (7-13 FG), three rebounds, two steals, and an assist in 29 minutes. Head coach Joe Mazzulla took Porzingis out of the game -- presumably to give him a rest in his first game back -- with a few minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Nonetheless, Friday's performance was exactly what C's fans wanted to see from their prized offseason addition. Boston is a different team with Porzingis on the court and it will need "The Unicorn" to stay healthy on the quest for Banner 18.
Jaylen Brown's odd ejection
One week after Jayson Tatum's ejection for arguing with the officials, Jaylen Brown was ejected for the first time in his career.
Brown was whistled for a technical foul after taking exception to a reach-in foul on Immanuel Quickley with 7:19 remaining in the fourth quarter. He was taken out of the game with five fouls, but he was bizarrely ejected with his second tech while on the bench and the ref who ejected him was already on the other side of the court.
Several C's players and staff members had to hold Brown back as he approached the official after being thrown out of the game. You can watch the entire sequence below:
Mazzulla was just as dumbfounded by the ejection as Brown.
"I've been on the sidelines in the NBA for 5 years and I've seen players act and say things that are way more disrespectful than that," Mazzulla said in his postgame press conference. ... "I'm doing everything I can to not cost myself $25k."
Brown voiced his frustration with the ref after the game.
"I wish I would've got my money's worth," he said of his ejection. "I always thought my first career ejection would be something a little more exciting, maybe a tussle or something, not some overemotional ref who had a bad day."
In the pool report, crew chief Mark Lindsay said Brown's ejection was the result of him waving off the official, "which under the respect of the game guidelines is considered an overt gesture and an unsportsmanlike act."
Fortunately, Brown's absence didn't cost the C's over the final few minutes of the fourth. New York made a late run with Brown sidelined but still fell by double digits.
Brown logged 17 points (7-13 FG), four assists, one steal, and one block before his ejection.