NBA Scores And More: Knicks Crumble Against Celtics; Grizzles Pound Jazz

The Celtics won despite trailing by as many as 15, as the Knicks' offense crumbled in the fourth. In other action, the Grizzlies dealt the Jazz another blow and Tim Duncan exited the Spurs' win over Golden State.

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Celtics Vs. Knicks: Kevin Garnett Isn't Messing Around, Boston Blitzes New York

The New York Knicks were eight minutes away from a galvanizing upset over the Boston Celtics, a win that in the immediate could have squelched concerns about the heart of a team led by Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, and in the long run struck fear into the hearts of a potential playoff foe. Alas, it was not meant to be, as the Celtics stormed back in the fourth quarter to blast the Knicks 96-86, preserving fears that the Knicks are, as a crowd of skeptical fans might say, "ov-er-ra-ted" and that there's little hope they'll be able to challenge one of the East's elite in the playoffs.

The Knicks were in a good position in the fourth. 'Melo had scored 17 points through three quarters, and Stoudemire had offered 16. Boston hadn't scored a three-pointer, and despite New York's poor defense, only Kevin Garnett had really blown up (with 18 points through three). With 7-1/2 minutes left, the Knicks led by nine at 82-73. Then it all came crashing down. 'Melo picked up his fifth foul, and Paul Pierce took advantage, scoring seven unanswered. Rajon Rondo lobbed an alley-oop to Garnett. Ray Allen put in a streaking lay-up. Garnett pushed his total to 24. And fin. The damage was done, as the Celtics led by four, and the Knicks managed just four more points the rest of the game.

There's a second side to that fatal 13-0 run, and it's full of bricked jumpers. During the run, the Knicks took and missed five shots. Four of them were jumpers. In the quarter New York shot just 4-16, and by my count 14 of the shots were jumpers. No team can survive taking Js all day against the Celtics, because they will contest and you will miss. Ask the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals. Ask the Cavs in last year's Eastern Conference semifinals. You can't settle for a jumper every time down the court against Boston and expect to survive.

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Jazz Vs. Grizzlies: Memphis Bigs, Led By Zach Randolph, Pound Utah

The Memphis Grizzlies had little problem knocking back the Utah Jazz, as Zach Randolph's 19 points and 13 rebounds helped lead Memphis to a 103-85 victory on Monday. Marc Gasol added 11 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes, and reserves Hamed Haddadi, Darrell Arthur and Leon Powe combined for 30 points on 15-23 shooting.

Utah is supposed to have the incredible frontcourt, with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap anchoring the team and Derrick Favors providing the future. But the Jazz bigs were rather quiet; Millsap had 15, but Jefferson managed just 12 and Favors only six. Memphis dominated the glass -- 37 percent offensive rebound rate; only 19 percent for Utah. The Grizzlies' perimeter players had just an OK night, but Memphis was able to romp.

Devin Harris left the game in the first quarter with an apparent hamstring injury, and he did not return. While he's been a disappointment in his last two years, he's also a good player who could help Utah push for the playoffs. I'm afraid, however, that it might be too late.

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Warriors Vs. Spurs: San Antonio Wins, But Tim Duncan Exits

The San Antonio Spurs moved to 57-13 with a 111-96 win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday, but Tim Duncan left the game with an apparent ankle injury, and the fear the Spurs' All-Star center could be lost for any period of time has stricken fear deep into the hearts of S.A. supporters. Duncan left just four minutes into the game, and didn't return.

The Spurs had no problem finishing off the Warriors without Big Fun(damental). Manu Ginobili was incredible, slicing through Golden State's, ahem, defense for 28 points on 9-18 shooting. Tony Parker got fancy, with 15 assists to go with his 17 points. Even Steve Novak was invited to the party! The spot player scored 13 off the bench, hitting three three-pointers.

With Duncan out, Brazilian rookie Tiago Splitter actually got some playing time. If Duncan misses games, Splitter could be a big factor in whether the Spurs race to the NBA Finals or whimper out of the playoffs.

In other action:

Bulls 132, Kings 92: Sacramento can't shoot, commits a lot of turnovers, and can't defend. A constant recipe for disaster! The Bulls never miss an opportunity to cause bloodshed (ask Pamplona, am I right?) and the Kings suffered a great defeat. Eight Bulls scored in double-figures.

Magic 97, Cavaliers 86: Despite the almost respectable margin, Orlando led throughout and by as many as 26. Dwight Howard, bless him, had 28 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, four blocks, four steals and four turnovers.

Pacers 102, Nets 98: Roy Hibbert scored 24 and Danny Granger added 20, but only because Tyler Hansbrough chose to defer to them. Sasha Vujacic actually made this thing interesting (almost a miracle!) by scoring nine points in the last four minutes and change. But Indiana's lead had been too great.

Nuggets 123, Raptors 90: Denver is kinda serious about making some noise this year, aren't they? The Nuggets led by as many as 41 before settling for a 33-point victory. Ty Lawson dropped 23 points and eight assists. J.R. Smith -- J.R. Smith! -- almost had a triple-double with 13 points, eight assists and 10 rebounds. Ice Cube in "Today Was a Good Day," no?

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