After an excellent first half that saw the Boston Celtics score 53 points, they managed just 25 in the second half of a 85-78 loss to the New York Knicks in Game 1 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. Those 25 points were the lowest in a half in franchise playoff history, with just eight coming in the fourth quarter.
"We wanted Paul (Pierce) to win for us," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said in his postgame press conference. "We stood around and watched him play. You can't win like that."
Rivers lamented the abundance of turnovers that plagued the Celtics, especially in the fourth quarter. Boston committed 20 turnovers for the game and eight in the final frame.
"We had bad turnovers tonight," Rivers said. "We have those turnovers in any game, we should lose the game and we did. We were making post passes from the other side of the floor. You're going to turn the ball over when that happens."
The absence of Rajon Rondo was clearly felt in that second half, as the spacing was "horrendous" and there was nobody to effectively create for others. The ball was stopping far too often, which led to poor shots and sloppy passes.
Rivers quotes via NBA.com live stream