NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Boston 15 25 28 25 93
New York 25 19 24 34 102
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , December 21, 2017
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York  Attendance: 19,812

Knicks' Porzingis could return vs. Celtics

According to STATS
According to STATS

Boston Celtics at New York Knicks

  1. Since 2013-14, the Raptors are 16-1 against the 76ers, which is the best record by a team against a divisional opponent during that span. Toronto won the first matchup of the season, 128-94 (October 21).
  2. The 76ers are averaging 18.0 turnovers per game this season, the most in the NBA. The Raptors are averaging 20.0 points per game off turnovers this season, the most in the NBA.
  3. The Raptors tied their highest scoring output of the season in their 129-111 victory over the Hornets last night. Toronto is 21-16 (.568) in the second of back-to-back games over the last three seasons.
  4. Over his last three games, Ben Simmons is averaging 14.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.0 assists. Simmons has had 7+ assists in his last eight games, the longest such streak by a Sixers' rookie since Allen Iverson (eight games).
  5. OG Anunoby hit six of his seven three-point attempts against the Hornets last night, tied for the second-most three-pointers made by a Raptors rookie all-time (Morris Peterson -- seven against the Cavaliers on February 27, 2001).
  6. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 24.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists on 52.8 percent shooting over his last five games in Philadelphia.

NEW YORK -- In the midst of their biggest slump of the season - a 4-4 stint after starting the season 22-4 - the Boston Celtics head to New York on Thursday night for a showdown with the Atlantic Division-rival Knicks.

Potentially in the offing? A matchup with Kristaps Porzingis, the NBA's fifth-leading scorer.

Porzingis, who has missed two games with a sore knee, told reporters on Wednesday that he anticipated making his return against the Celtics, who are currently eight games above the surprising Knicks in the divisional standings.

"I still feel it just a bit," Porzingis told the New York Daily News. "This kind of injury I'm going to feel it for a little bit. It's nothing bad. I just got to make sure the knee's stable and I'm feeling stable on the court. I can't have instability sensation. That's not good. I went through the whole practice. They were trying to take me out. I wanted to stay in. I felt great. The knee felt stable. I don't see why I would not play (Thursday)."

New York (16-14) played admirably in Porzingis' absence on Saturday in a 111-96 win over Oklahoma City in Carmelo Anthony's first game back in New York since an offseason trade, but the Knicks crashed hard in a 109-91 loss at Charlotte on Monday, shooting 42 percent from the field and 17 percent from 3-point range.

The Celtics had similar shooting woes in a 90-89 home loss to Miami on Thursday.

Boston (26-8) shot 38 percent against the Heat, capping off a 4-4 stretch in which they've shot 46 percent from the field.

It wasn't only the Celtics' offense that failed them against the Heat, but the defense against former Celtic Kelly Olynyk, who had a career-high 32 points against them. Aside from Olynyk, Miami shot just 21 of 64.

"He played a great game," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "I'm certainly happy for him. It was definitely at our expense. Second time in a week one of our former players came in and gave it to us."

Utah's Jonas Jerebko was the other.

The Knicks, who are just 1-5 this season without Porzingis, might be getting another key player back in the near future.

The team announced on Tuesday that shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. was cleared to move forward in his rehabilitation from a left lower leg stress injury, and that he's eyeing a return following Christmas.

His return would give a boost to a squad still seeking a reliable third scoring option in Porzingis and his absence.

Even if New York has improved in its play without its big two.

"We've grown a lot. I think we've grown a lot and I think we still have a lot of growing to do," Porzingis said. "We're on the right track. Even without Tim, we're getting better. When Tim comes back I believe he's going to bring us even more gunpowder offensively. That's going to make us even better."

Boston won the teams' first meeting, 110-89 on Oct. 24 in Boston.

Updated December 21, 2017

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