The Boston Celtics picked up their first road win of the season on Saturday, completing their first back-to-back of the year with a 118-95 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Boston got contributions from all over the roster with 12 different players putting up points, including rookie big man Tacko Fall who collected his first in his first game action of the season. Gordon Hayward tallied nine points while playing just 26 minutes in the blowout win. G-Time added six rebounds and four assists in the winning effort.
Leading all scorers was Kemba Walker, who poured in a season-high 32 points. For the second straight game, Walker caught fire in the second half. After the halftime break, Kemba shot 8-for-9 from the field, including five 3-pointers, on the way to a 21-point second half. His scoring was vital for Boston to pull away from New York after being tied at 72 late in the third quarter.
“We’re gonna need a lot from Kemba,” said guard Marcus Smart, who scored 12 points. “We’re gonna need times when Kemba’s going to have to take over games.”
Walker is no stranger to doing just that, and to do so on the Madison Square Garden stage was extra-special to the New York native.
“It’s great energy in here, obviously,” Walker told Celtics.com. “I’m from here. I’ve been playing here since I was in high school, man. So it’s just always good to come back.”
Boston’s offensive output also included 19 points from Jaylen Brown, 15 from Jayson Tatum and 10 from rookie Carsen Edwards.
Fellow Boston rookie Grant Williams also continues to impress Head Coach Brad Stevens filling in for an injured Enes Kanter at the center spot. Williams had seven points, three steals, two blocks, a rebound and an assist in 19 minutes off the bench.
“Grant’s skill and passing is really good for us. We can stretch guys out that way,” said Stevens. “And I thought he did things defensively above the rim today that were really impressive.”
After a stretch of three games in four days to open the season, Gordon and the Celtics head home for a three-day break before hosting Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Wednesday night at TD Garden. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET.