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Turnovers cost Celtics chance to win Game 1

Updated: 2013-04-22 07:17
By Associated Press in New York ( China Daily)

Turnovers cost Celtics chance to win Game 1

New York takes early series lead after sloppy play by visitors

Rajon Rondo was unable to join his team on Friday as planned, stuck in Boston while the city was in lockdown.

He arrived in New York on Saturday, even offering his teammates some tips from the scouting report.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, he still can't play.

The Celtics badly missed their injured point guard Saturday, costing themselves a chance to win their playoff opener with a rash of mistakes in an 85-78 loss to the New York Knicks.

"Honestly, we turned the ball over a ton and I thought our spacing was horrendous in the second half," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought we stopped trusting a little bit offensively."

Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points for the Knicks, but the Celtics held the NBA's scoring leader to 13-of-29 shooting and were generally pleased with their defense.

Their offense was a wreck.

"Very frustrating. We had a lot of turnovers tonight," guard Avery Bradley said. "As a team we don't want to turn the ball over."

Anthony had 10 quick points and endured a tough shooting night from there before scoring eight points in the fourth quarter, helping New York take a 1-0 lead in a series for the first time since the 2001 first round against Toronto.

"Boston knows Melo and they know he's not going anywhere, but they're going to make it as tough as possible for him to score the ball," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "And he got off to a good start and then he had that slow middle, and then when he had to pick it up down the stretch, he made the plays that we needed him to make. And I mean that's what the great ones do. They figure it out and Melo's done that all season for our ballclub."

Anthony made consecutive baskets late in the final period, when the Knicks held Boston to three baskets and eight points.

Game 2 is on Tuesday night before the Celtics host Game 3 on Friday in what will be their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings.

Jeff Green scored 26 points and Paul Pierce added 21 for the Celtics, who committed 21 turnovers that led to 20 points. The Knicks got their hands on the ball at will in the fourth quarter, when Boston shot 3 of 11.

(China Daily 04/22/2013 page23)

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