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Celtics rout Knicks, giving Brad Stevens his first NBA win

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff  October 12, 2013 09:36 PM

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MANCHESTER, N.H. -- After swallowing three straight preseason losses, Brad Stevens finally tasted his first NBA win Saturday, when the rookie Celtics coach saw his team rout the New York Knicks, 111-81, at the Verizon Wireless Arena here.

The Knicks, who beat the Celtics earlier in the week in a preseason game in Providence, were without Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton, so they weren't at their best -- or anything close.

Still, the Celtics played by far their best game of the preseason, offering a performance far different from the night before, when Philadelphia pounded them, 97-85.

After that game, Stevens talked about getting off to a better start, and the Celtics did that against the Knicks, opening the game on an 18-4 run. They led by as much as 18 in the first half and they opened the third quarter on a 13-2 run, setting the tone.

The Celtics led by as much as 37 in the fourth quarter, when most of their key players watched from the bench. Rookie forward Kelly Olynyk had 15 points, leading six Celtics who scored in double figures. Overall, the Celtics shot 54 percent (39 of 72) from the floor.

The Celtics pounded the Knicks on the glass, outrebounding them 45-34.

Ike Diogu scored 21 to lead the Knicks.

Celtics guard Keith Bogans (sprained right thumb) and swingman Gerald Wallace
(rest) sat out. Bogans is expected to be out indefinitely, though he's scheduled to have his thumb re-evaluated Monday.

The Celtics' next preseason game is Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That game will mark the first of a back-to-back, as the Celtics will play the Raptors in Toronto a day later.

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