Quick wrap: Knicks' offense makes its return and their defense ... never appeared. David Lee's 28 points and 15 rebounds were game-highs. Ray Allen had a team-high 24 points for Boston. Rondo had a game-high 16 assists and McGrady, who scored just six points, led the Knicks with eight.
McGrady was the go-to guy when the Knicks needed a late basket, but he came up short and couldn't play for the early part of the fourth quarter — with these Knicks, that's what you get.
Nate Robinson finishes with four points in 16 minutes — Eddie House (four points, five assists, five boards) and Bill Walker (seven points) had more impressive performances against their old team.
Fourth quarter: Boston wins 110-106, giving the Knicks' their eighth consecutive loss.
Garnett can't hit his first free throw, but converts second and makes it a 4-point game. House takes last Knicks' shot, a long 3 from the left side, well off and the Knicks can't fully come back.
McGrady 3-pointer is short coming out of the timeout. Daniels fouled with 10.4 to go — questionable foul. It did not appear to be NY's intent at the start of the possession. Knicks had one to give, Boston set to inbound.
Ray Allen has a tremendous block coming from behind on Chandler, Knicks called for 24-second violation anyway. Celtics lose the ball on the other end, so the Knicks have it with 31.8, down 3. The last few minutes, the Knicks haven't been able to penetrate and have been rushing outside shots. Quick stats: Rondo has 16 assists, Lee 28 points and 15 rebounds.
T-Mac collapses on Garnett around the right block for a double-team, leaves Daniels open in the lane. 109-106 Boston, 1:45 to play.
Think it was smart to save T-Mac's minutes until the end? He takes Garnett one-on-one from the left wing and the layup is good, 107-106 Celtics with a Boston timeout following.
Knicks can't get a stop in the paint anymore, and they have 17 turnovers to Boston's nine.
T-Mac finally back in with Knicks down 105-102. He's been out since middle of the third, which isn't surprising considering his first-half minutes.
Robinson with a jumper puts Boston up 105-100. Both teams still shooting very well, but Boston won't let the Knicks pull in front. Knicks haven't had a run yet equivalent to the one that put them ahead late in the second quarter - they might need it if Boston keeps this shooting pace.
Rodriguez takes it himself, goes off the glass with a flip, up and in, brings Knicks within one. Chandler draws his fourth personal ath the other end, and Davis hits both:, 101-98 Boston.
The Boston crowd really reacts to that noise meter. Usually it's good for one rise a game, tops.
Boston leads 97-96 with 8:24 to play.
Robinson left-handed layup attempt is an easy swat for Lee. Still two points for Nate, but it's hard to expect much from a guy who's had very limited practice with a new team.
Harrington hits the 3 for first points of the fourth, ties the game. No second-half dropoff for the Knicks offense tonight, as happened against Milwaukee.
Third quarter: Celtics lead 94-91. Lee's 24 and Allen's 22 points are team-highs. Boston shooting 58.5 percent, the Knicks still keeping pace: 57.4 percent.
House has five assists, Walker has seven points and is 3-for-3, including a 3-pointer he just made. It's not Nate getting revenge on the Knicks, it's the former Celtics putting on a show in front of their old home fans. House 2-for-2, has four points, Knicks trail 94-89 with 40 seconds to go in the quarter. Over/under on the total points this game will finish with?
Eddie House, guarded by Rondo, moves to his right and throws to his left, finds David Lee just outside the key who dunks it and is fouled. Knicks trail 85-81.
Rodriguez is 3-for-3 from downtown, hits to bring Knicks back within two at 81-79 after Rondo's 3-pointer capped a 7-0 Boston run.
Chandler can't hit a wide-open 3 and Perkins has an easy lane for the lay-up on the other end, puts Boston up 78-74. Knicks had plenty of chances to tie at 76. David Lee's still scoring: he has a game-high 22 points, 5:45 to go in the third quarter.
Knicks down by six, could be seven, Perkins to Daniels who's fouled in the paint. 74-67 Boston leads with nine minutes to go in the quarter.
Chandler limping a little as Garnett takes free throws, appears to want to stay in the game.
The Knicks shot 59 percent from the floor in the first half, Boston 53.2 percent. And yet the Knicks trail: nine turnovers to Boston's four would likely be why. McGrady and Rodriguez have 11 assists between them. For Boston, Allen, Rondo and Garnett are all on (the latter two are tied with 12 points apiece). Nary a shred of defense yet. Put in two standing ovations, one for Eddie House and another for Nate Robinson, who has two points in six minutes, and it was a fun first half. Impressive run by the Knicks to actually retake the lead late in the second, but figuring they won't shoot nearly 60 percent in the second, they're going to need some stops.
Second quarter: Boston leads 64-60. Lee and Allen are tied for a game-high 16 points.
Rondo takes air after McGrady gets another basketn. Rondo has 12 points now, and neither team has shown much of a defense.
McGrady gets his first two points on a tip-in to tie the game at 56 with 1:50 left. 13 minutes for McGrady - would seem he's feeling better, but you wonder if he can keep up this pace in the second half.
Here's how you know you're watching the Knicks: after taking the lead, Rodriguez deflects a Celtics pass right to Allen on the left baseline, who takes it in for the extra point opportunity. 53-52. But to be fair: five assists for McGrady (no points!) and Rodriguez. A team effort indeed.
McGrady to Lee, Knicks down just one. Celtics miss, have a loose ball foul called, and the Knicks take the lead on David Lee's two foul shots. 13-0 run with 3 to go in the half.
Garnett can't handle double team, Rodriguez (five assists) finds Harrington for a 3-pointer. Harrington adds two more, five conescutive points, and Knicks are down just three: 51-48.
Robinson right-side 3-pointer no good. He's 1-for-3, 0-for-1 from downtown. Next possession, he drives left baseline, dishes out to Scalabrine, 49-36 Boston with about 7 to go before the half. That's what he's here for: to pick up this Boston offense.
Robinson called for a reach-in as Harrington knocks him backwards. When exactly does Nate have a fair size matchup? Harrington jumper makes it 44-33 Boston with 9:40 to go.
First points for Nate Robinson as a Celtic with a right baseline jumper. 42-31 Boston.
Robinson blocked from behind by Rodriguez. Then a Robinson turnover casued by Rodriguez. Rodriguez also hit Walker for an alley oop - Knicks trail 40-31, and Rodriguez having no problem with Nate so far.
First quarter: Boston leads 38-27. David Lee leads the Knicks with 12 points, Ray Allen the Celtics with 13 points.
Nate in with 49.1 to go, gets an ovation of his own. Takes Rondo's place.
No tribute video for Walker: he averaged 1 ppg in eight games this season, and 2.6 ppg in his two-year career with the Celtics.
Off Celtics' first turnover, former Boston player Bily Walker with a right-handed dunk from the left wing. Knicks down 29-21 with 2:54 to go. Eddie House had the assist — it's the former Celtics getting it done so far. Nate yet to come off the bench.
MSG reporting just two officials on the floor — one had to come off.
Rondo swipes Chandler near the Boston 3-point line. Turnover leads to a 25-17 Boston lead.
Eddie House gets a video tribute during the break and acknowledges it — for a journeyman, that's special.
Gallinari fouled in the post with 5:33 left, Knicks trail 21-13. Boston is 9-for-13 from the floor on four Knicks turnovers. Ray Allen, who scored 25 in Boston's loss to Denver, had eight points. No Nate yet.
McGrady hits Lee for another 2-pointer, 4-for-4 shooting for Lee, four assists for McGrady. But four turnovers for the Knicks in ... 4 1/2 minutes. I sense a trend of fours.
Celtics' 6-0 run broken up by a Rodriguez 3-pointer. 10-7 Boston lead.
T-Mac showing more strong passing, find's David Lee for Knicks first basket about 40 seconds in. Lee has first four points for Knicks, game tied at 4 less than two minutes in.
Eddie House in the same position as Nate tonight, playing against his former team. Sergio Rodriguez's presence making Chris Duhon's less and less relevant.
No Paul Pierce for the Celtics because of sickness and a hand injury, as Alan Hahn reported. Follow his Twitter feed today and everyday.
A chance to make his Boston Celtics debut against the team that drafted him in 2005 and traded him less than a week ago?
As Nate Robinson might say on his Twitter page, "word aapp."
Losers of seven in a row overall and both their contests since trading away Robinson and for Tracy McGrady, the Knicks (19-36) visit the Celtics (35-19) at 7:30 tonight in Boston. New York lost to Milwaukee 83-67 at the Garden last night as the team honored — off-the-court, anyway — the 1969-70 championship team.
Without Robinson, who hasn't played yet because of illness, the Celtics fell to the Nuggets 114-105 in their most recent game, on Sunday in Denver. The Atlantic Division leaders had won three in a row previously.
Robinson averaged 12.5 points in his 4 1/2 season with the Knicks, but had his well-known clashes with Mike D'Antoni and rode the bench for 14 straight games at one point this season.
"They gave me my first chance, so I'm alway going to respect the organization and everything they did for me," Robinson said.
"I respect coach (D'Antoni), I still love coach," he added.
Tracy McGrady, who was limping on his sore left knee last night, is available to play tonight but one would imagine the Knicks will use him even more gingerly than they have. McGrady's debut against Oklahoma City was invigorating: he scored 26 points as the Knicks blew a late fourth-quarter lead and fell 121-118 in overtime. But he wasn't nearly as spry last night, when he scored 15 points.
Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said McGrady will tell him when he's able to be on the court.
Evan Drellich here to take you through the game.