Ex-Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis speaks on boos from the crowd at MSG after Celtics win

Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) celebrates his basket against New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t worn a New York Knicks uniform since 2018, yet the fans at Madison Square Garden continue to boo him whenever he is in town. Saturday night was no different. Porzingis squared off against the Knicks as the Boston Celtics’ third offensive option.

The matchup proved to be a pivotal game for both teams, but the Knicks failed to come away with a victory over the conference-leading C’s, losing 116-102.

Knicks: Former franchise player Kristaps Porzingis basked in boos from MSG crowd

After the game, Porzingis spoke on the jeers he received from Knicks faithful and how he reacts to such a hostile environment, per Heavy Sports’ Alder Almo:

“I enjoy [the boos] to be honest,” Porzingis told reporters after the game. “They kind of went down in my years in Washington, but still getting booed. I feel like now they’ve ramped up again a little bit with me being with the Celtics and having this kind of rivalry with the Knicks.”

Porzingis’ game was a clear indicator that the boos did not get the better of him. He gave the Knicks 22 points on 7-11 shooting from the field, 3-4 shooting from deep, and a perfect clip from the charity stripe.

For yet another time this year, Porzingis’ impact helped the Celtics get a victory over the Knicks, this time by a wide 14-point margin. In the Knicks’ season opener against the Celtics on Oct. 25, Porzingis’ hot shooting down the stretch allowed Boston to narrowly edge out the Jalen Brunson-led ball club.

Porzingis’ strong play against the Knicks amidst hostility could have playoff implications

Porzingis once again overcame the virulent crowd at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” and now seems to have the team and the fanbase’s number. This is shaping up to be bad news for the Knicks. The likelihood that they see the Celtics come playoff time is high.

Boston currently owns a 45-12 record atop the East while New York trails behind them at 34-23 as the No. 4 seed. Should both teams live up to their current positioning in the standings, they’ll see each other in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Porzingis being unbothered by Knicks fans may spell trouble should the playoff outcome come to fruition.

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