New York, NY (Sports Network) - No Rajon Rondo, no problem this time for the Boston Celtics.
Playing without their suspended All-Star point guard, the defending Atlantic Division champions received big efforts from their other established players to come through with a much-needed 102-96 victory over the rival New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Paul Pierce amassed 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting and Kevin Garnett added 19 points with 10 rebounds as Boston matched a season-high with its third consecutive victory.
Taking over ball-handling duties with Rondo forced to sit out after making contact with an official during Saturday's win at Atlanta, Avery Bradley delivered 13 points and five assists for the Celtics, who also got a lift from Jeff Green's 16 points off the bench.
Boston also shined on the defensive end, limiting the Knicks to a 40.8 percent success rate from the floor. Carmelo Anthony managed 20 points for New York, but made good on just 6-of-26 field goal attempts.
J.R. Smith finished with 24 points and Tyson Chandler had 13 along with 17 rebounds in the loss, which halted the Atlantic-leading Knicks' two-game win streak.
The Sports Network