A rout would be an understatement to what went down inside TD Garden last night.
The Celtics, even without All-Star PG Kyrie Irving, oblierated the Knicks by 30 on their home court. Head coach Jeff Hornacek couldn't believe what he saw out of his team's worst loss of the season.
"I have no explanation for it," Hornacek told Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "They played better, they played harder and they're a little bigger than us. When you're not as big as the other team you got to out-hustle, outmuscle, you got to do little things. They did those things on top of that."
Marcus Smart was also not in the lineup along with Irving, but Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown took over their positions with 17 and 14 points respecitvely. Marcus Morris, who left the game early after an injury, had a game-high 20 points.
The Knicks handled the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics on their home floor in their last matchup, and Irving was on the floor. Enes Kanter admitted nothing seemed to click on both ends of the floor in an embarrassing performance.
"We didn't play hard on the defensive end and we missed a lot of shots," he said. "Offense affected us on defense. We cannot let that if we want to be an elite team."
New York continues to claim that they are a playoff-caliber team, and want to make the playoffs. However, with performances like this one and a 23-29 record (10th in the East), it is hard to make that argument.
It was the second half that plagued the Knicks, who notched an unimpressive eight points in the fourth quarter -- a franchise low. They team as a whole went 10-for-45 from the field in the second half, and Kristaps Porzingis said it was simply an off-night trying to shoot.
"Everybody was off," Porzingis said. "Myself, I felt like I missed so many good looks, great looks. That's what happens, off night as a team today shooting-wise."
Porzingis finished with 16 points, but went 7-for-18 from the field, including 1-of-5 from three. He finished the game with a team-high minus-36 while on the floor.
The only thing the Latvian star says the team can do is take this game as motivation going forward.
"Night like this you learn from this," he said. "Take this game and use it as motivation. We don't ever want to lose by 30. Take this and then take that anger if you have it inside and bring it out the next game."
Hopefully that motivation comes against the Bucks on Friday as Milwaukee is currently on a four-game win streak.