The New York Knicks celebrated Tom Thibodeau’s 63rd birthday with a sensational win that snapped their five-game losing skid.
With their defense sharp and their offense on target, the Knicks obliterated one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, Boston Celtics, 105-75, Sunday at the TD Garden.
It was the Knicks’ largest win in Boston since a 37-point victory in 1970.
The game was so lopsided that Thibodeau emptied his bench with more than three minutes left, giving the likes of seldom-used Ignas Brazdeikis, Theo Pinson, and Dennis Smith, Jr. some burn.
It was a total team effort for the Knicks, who rebounded from a tough loss in Cleveland.
Julius Randle continued his All-Star play leading the Knicks with 20 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three steals. RJ Barrett had another strong game stuffing the stats sheet with 19 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Barrett has now put together a solid stretch in the last three games averaging 19.7 points on 50 percent shooting, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists.
Rookies Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin were also spectacular against the Celtics.
Quickley had his third straight double-digit scoring with 17 and added a career-high eight assists. Toppin, meanwhile, had his best game, finishing with 12 points, including an emphatic slam in the second half.
“We came out with energy and aggression right off the opening tip,” Barrett said postgame.
“We put in the work. It really felt good to get back on the track,” he added.
The Knicks improved to 6-8. Last season, they never reached sixth win until their 26th game.
The Knicks put in the work early, racing to a double-digit lead in the opening quarter.
The Celtics, who entered the game with a five-win streak and the East’s best record, didn’t know what hit them.
Mitchell Robinson’s putback slam to open the game set the tone for the rout.
The Knicks led from start to finish riding on their defense. They held the Celtics to a season-worst 29.8 percent from the field, including 7-for-46 from three.
Kemba Walker struggled in his season debut, shooting just 3-for-13 for nine points.
Jaylen Brown’s 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting paced the Celtics, who sorely missed Jayson Tatum (safety and health protocols).
The Knicks will only have less than 24 hours to enjoy this victory, though.
The Knicks hope to build on this big win when they face the Orlando Magic Monday noon at home before flying to West Coast for another back-to-back set.
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