NBA Preview: Knicks at Celtics

Knicks at Celtics

The Boston Celtics return home from an uneven road trip to try to snap a three-game home losing streak when they host the New York Knicks on Wednesday. A 111-110 win at Denver on Monday allowed the Celtics to finish the trip with a 2-2 record and a one-game lead over Toronto in the Eastern Conference.

Jaylen Brown hit a big 3-pointer with 33.3 seconds left and the Nuggets had a basket go in just after the final horn as Boston snapped a five-game slide in games decided by single digits. “I thought we were gassed at the end of the game,” coach Brad Stevens said in Denver. “We missed some defensive assignments, and I thought we missed some good opportunities on offense, but they found a way.” The Knicks have recorded consecutive victories for the first time since the middle of December after knocking off Brooklyn 111-95 on Tuesday. Kristaps Porzingis scored 28 points and Enes Kanter finished with 20 points and 20 rebounds as New York had a triumphant return home from a 3-4 road trip.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, MSG (New York), NBCS Boston

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ABOUT THE KNICKS (23-28): Porzingis buried a career-high six 3-pointers in eight attempts and is 12-for-18 from long range over a four-game span. The 22-year-old will try to carry over that success against a team that has held him to 3-of-25 shooting in two meetings this season, including 0-for-11 in a win over Boston at home last month. Michael Beasley helped New York overcome Porzingis’ rocky effort in that matchup by scoring a season-high 32 points.

ABOUT THE CELTICS (36-15): Kyrie Irving scored 27 points against Denver and is averaging 31.4 on 59.2 percent shooting in five games since returning from a one-game layoff due to a shoulder injury. Rookie Jayson Tatum scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting on Monday after going 18-for-53 over his previous five contests. Irving and Tatum combined for 49 points in the visit to Madison Square Garden last month, but his teammates were 15-for-49 from the field in the 102-93 loss.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Kanter has scored exactly 20 points in three straight games and is 8-for-10 from the floor in each of his last two outings.

2. Brown averages 14.1 points but scored under 10 in three of four games on the road trip.

3. Knicks G Ron Baker (shoulder) left Tuesday’s win and will not travel with the team to Boston.

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