Game: Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Odds: Celtics -2, Knicks +2
A win over the Boston Celtics a month ago was one of the early highlights of a season-saving run for the New York Knicks. One night after beating Cleveland, the Knicks won at Boston in overtime, 120-117, on January 26. Since Jan. 24, the Knicks are 10-4 SU and are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. New York has won its last five straight and now owns a 2.5-game lead over Miami for that coveted sixth and final automatic playoff berth.
As the NBA’s top team begins another potentially pivotal stretch, the Celtics face the Knicks on Monday night in a rematch between long-standing rivals. The Knicks will attempt to advance further in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. They are tied with Brooklyn and can move ahead of the Nets and into fifth place with a win tonight.
After winning on Saturday night, both teams had Sunday off. The Knicks defeated the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 128–106 and the Celtics edged the Philadelphia 76ers 110–107 in a tense back-and-forth contest.
The Knicks have beaten four of the five teams ahead of them in the East in their current 10-4 run. That includes the wins over the Celtics, Cavaliers, Sixers, and Nets. The Knicks will play the Celtics twice during this week’s four-game stretch. The Celtics and Knicks will play each other again in Boston on Sunday. New York will also face Brooklyn and Miami this week.
The Celtics, who are the defending Eastern Conference champions, have experienced postseason-like fervor while going 9-2 since their loss to the Knicks. They have been able to keep their narrow lead in the battle for the top spot in the East thanks to the run. Boston has a half-game lead over the second-place Milwaukee Bucks and a four-game lead over the third-place Philadelphia 76ers.
The Celtics fell down 67-52 early in the third quarter against the 76ers on Saturday before going on a 45-20 run to grab a 97-87 lead midway through the fourth quarter. This comes after they blew a 10-point halftime lead and outlasted the Indiana Pacers 142-138 in overtime on Thursday night.
The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum sank the game-winning 26-footer with 1.3 seconds left after the 76ers had come roaring back. Philly’s Joel Embiid then attempted a potential game-tying 75-foot shot, but he failed to get the shot off before the final buzzer.
Knicks forward Julius Randle, who scored 74 points in the Knicks’ first two games after the All-Star break has been on a roll. Randle averages 25.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game for the season. He’s a big reason why New York is 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games.
Boston is equally strong against the number. In addition to winning seven of their last eight games, the Celtics are 7-1 ATS. Boston has won 12 of the last 18 games against New York.
Join Oskeim Sports today and save 20% on your first purchase at the online store!