Randle, Knicks beat Celtics to clinch No. 4 seed in East

Randle capped his All-Star season with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 96-92 on Sunday to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Associated Press

May 16, 2021, 8:22 PM

Updated 1,154 days ago

Share:

Julius Randle and the New York Knicks will open the NBA playoffs at home.
Randle capped his All-Star season with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 96-92 on Sunday to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
RJ Barrett scored 22 points for the Knicks, who won their third straight to finish 41-31 and set up a first-round series with the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks are headed to the playoffs for the first time since winning the Atlantic Division title in 2012-13.
They needed a win Sunday to assure themselves of playing at Madison Square Garden next weekend and got plenty of help from the Celtics, who were already locked into the play-in tournament at the No. 7 spot and rested all their top players.
Boston cut a 21-point deficit to three in the final minutes, but Nerlens Noel had two big blocked shots before Randle hit a free throw to close the scoring.
The Knicks entered the day tied with the Hawks, who played later Sunday against Houston, but own the tiebreaker if they finish with the same record after sweeping the three-game season series.
The Knicks were one of the NBA's biggest surprises in Tom Thibodeau's first season after having little to no playoff expectations outside the organization. But they play the rugged defense characteristic of his teams and got much-improved play from Randle and Barrett to strengthen the offense as the season went on.
Boston was a disappointment, finishing 36-36, but can still make the postseason with a win in the play-in tournament. The Celtics will host No. 8 Washington on Tuesday.
They sat Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Marcus Smart, Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams to rest for that game. Jaylen Brown was already lost for the season after wrist surgery.
Jabari Parker scored 18 points for Boston, which led 24-23 after one quarter but then shot 4 for 20 in the second.
The game was tied at 35 before the Knicks closed the first half with a 19-4 kick, including a pair of 3-pointers from Alec Burks. The second triggered a 12-0 surge to finish it, extending the lead to 54-39.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Coach Brad Stevens said the team will find out more about the status of the players who sat out Sunday when they practice Monday. He said some are potentially available but others not.
Knicks: Burks scored 17 points. ... The Knicks honored television announcer Mike Breen on his Hall of Fame induction during a first-quarter timeout.

MORE HALL OF FAMERS

Mike Gorman and George Kalinsky will be honored with the 2021 Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy media awards that Breen earned for 2020. Gorman is celebrating 40 years broadcasting Celtics games. Kalinsky has been the official photographer of Madison Square Garden since 1966.

RANDLE'S RECOGNITION

Randle became just the sixth player to average 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a season, joining Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird, along with Russell Westbrook and Nikola Jokic.
“As I’ve said all along, he’s our engine. He’s had a terrific season and for me personally I’m glad that he’s being recognized," Thibodeau said. "But the most important thing is the impact he’s had on winning and that’s where I want our focus to be. There’s a lot of people who can get stats in this league and it doesn’t impact winning.”

UP NEXT

Celtics: Host Washington in a play-in game Tuesday.
Knicks: Host Atlanta next weekend.
By BRIAN MAHONEY
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


More from News 12
1:05
Trump is wounded but 'fine' after apparent assassination attempt; suspect had bomb-making materials

Trump is wounded but 'fine' after apparent assassination attempt; suspect had bomb-making materials

2:06
HEAT ALERT: Mostly sunny skies in the Bronx with feels-like temperatures reaching mid 90s

HEAT ALERT: Mostly sunny skies in the Bronx with feels-like temperatures reaching mid 90s

4:10
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Trump rally attendee gives his eyewitness account of the shooting

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Trump rally attendee gives his eyewitness account of the shooting

1:19
Sunday service resumes at Bronx libraries

Sunday service resumes at Bronx libraries

2:37
Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

2:27
Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

1:29
Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

1:34
Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

2:03
Poll: More than 40% of women skip or delay medical screenings and appointments

Poll: More than 40% of women skip or delay medical screenings and appointments

0:31
NYPD: Suspect wanted for fatally shooting man, injuring woman in Fordham

NYPD: Suspect wanted for fatally shooting man, injuring woman in Fordham

0:38
Laura Kavanaugh to step down as FDNY commissioner

Laura Kavanaugh to step down as FDNY commissioner

0:22
NYPD: 2 suspects wanted for firing gun near Belmont schoolyard

NYPD: 2 suspects wanted for firing gun near Belmont schoolyard

1:37
Emergency management gives tips for NYC to prepare for hot temps

Emergency management gives tips for NYC to prepare for hot temps

1:26
Bronx resident among hundreds set to graduate police academy next week

Bronx resident among hundreds set to graduate police academy next week

1:09
Sunday service making a return to some NYC libraries this weekend

Sunday service making a return to some NYC libraries this weekend

0:21
Orchard Beach water advisory lifted following bacteria concerns

Orchard Beach water advisory lifted following bacteria concerns

2:03
NYPD: Wakefield 16-year-old mother, her 1-year-old daughter missing

NYPD: Wakefield 16-year-old mother, her 1-year-old daughter missing

1:42
NYPD's latest intern helping build relationships with hard of hearing communities

NYPD's latest intern helping build relationships with hard of hearing communities

1:44
Citi Bike per-minute prices are on the rise

Citi Bike per-minute prices are on the rise

0:29
NYPD: Man’s body found at Joyce Kilmer Park in Concourse Village

NYPD: Man’s body found at Joyce Kilmer Park in Concourse Village