Celtics 102, Knicks 96: Paul Pierce scored 15 of his 23 points in the second quarter as visiting Boston recorded its third win in a row.
Kevin Garnett collected 19 points and 10 rebounds while Jeff Green added 16 points off the bench for the Celtics, who were playing without Rajon Rondo. The NBA's assist leader was suspended for one game after bumping an official on Saturday and failing to cooperate with the league's investigation.
J.R. Smith came off the bench to score 14 of his team-high 24 points in the first half. Carmelo Anthony shot 6-for-26 from the field to finish with 20 points for the Knicks, who have dropped four of their last seven at Madison Square Garden.
Despite picking up his fourth foul with 8:55 remaining in the third quarter, Pierce was able to step up during crucial moments in the fourth. His long-range jumper gave Boston a 94-91 lead with 3:30 left before his bullet pass to Avery Bradley resulted in an easy layup.
Pierce worked the shot clock before drilling a step-back 3-pointer to lift the Celtics to a 100-94 advantage with 45 seconds to play.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Pierce wasn't the only one dealing with foul trouble. Anthony picked up two quick fouls in the third quarter, with his fourth of the game sending him to the bench with just over three minutes to play. ... New York drilled eight of its 14 3-pointers during the second quarter. ... The Celtics improved to 2-3 this season without Rondo.