Celtics-Knicks takeaways: Fournier drops 41 in latest C's collapse


The Boston Celtics just can't seem to get out of their own way.

They have several "worst loss of the season" entries at this point, but Thursday night's collapse vs. the New York Knicks likely takes the cake. This time, Boston blew a 25-point lead as RJ Barrett banked a 3-pointer at the final buzzer to seal New York's 108-105 win.

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Here are three instant takeaways from the Celtics' defeat, which brings them to 18-21 on the season. They'll face the Knicks again Saturday night at TD Garden.

 Evan Fournier loves facing the Celtics

For whatever reason, Evan Fournier flips a switch whenever he faces off against Boston. The ex-Celtic was the story of Thursday night's game as he went off for a career-high 41 points on 15-of-25 shooting (10-of-14 from 3).

Fournier has three games this season with 30 or more points. Each of those performances came against the Celtics.

Before his 41-point outburst, Fournier was flirting with a spot on the Knicks bench. The 29-year-old went scoreless in 22 minutes Tuesday vs. the Indiana Pacers. In the team's New Year's Eve loss to the Atlanta Hawks, he had only three points on 1-of-8 shooting in 20 minutes.

Fournier is averaging 35.0 points per game and shooting 55.4% from the field against Boston this season. For comparison sake, he's averaging 11.7 ppg and shooting 38.6% against everyone else.

No Celtics lead is safe

If you've paid attention to this Celtics team, you're well aware that a double-digit lead shouldn't feel comfortable. But a 25-point lead? There's no way they could screw that one up, right?...

That's exactly what they did as the Knicks chipped away in the third quarter and finally pulled ahead in the fourth. When New York cut the lead to seven heading into the fourth quarter, the game's ending became all too predictable.

The Celtics are no strangers to late collapses and blown leads this season, but this one was especially notable. According to ESPN Stats & Info, NBA teams were 1-138 when facing a deficit of 25+ points this season. Boston joins the New Orleans Pelicans as the only teams to lose four games this season in which they led by at least 15 points.

This was the Knicks' largest comeback win since Mar. 14, 2004, when they trailed the Milwaukee Bucks by 26. They were 1-229 when trailing by 25+ points in a game during that span.

Robert Williams gives an admirable effort

There were very few bright spots in the latest crushing Celtics defeat, but Robert Williams certainly was one of them.

Time Lord provided hustle when it was hard to come by at times in the second half. The 24-year-old big man put on a defensive clinic with a career-high seven blocks. He also tallied six points, nine rebounds, and two steals in the losing effort.

Williams is the first Celtics player to tally seven blocks in a game since Kendrick Perkins accomplished the feat in 2009.

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