The Knicks have scored 49 points in the last three quarters, falling to the Celtics

BOSTON – When Julius Randle was introduced before Saturday night’s match, he was buzzing loudly, understandably considering the venue was TD Garden rather than Madison Square Garden.

But once the game started, there was little mockery or buh to Randle or the rest of his teammates, which tells you a lot about how the Knicks played.

Shorthanded without Celtics killer Evan Fournier, the Knicks got off to a better start than the one that sparked anger among hometown fans two nights earlier. But a brutal performance in the second half left Randle and the Knicks as an afterthought as Boston fans cheered on the Celtics’ runaway victory.

The Celtics held the Knicks to 49 points in the final three quarters and turned a two-point lead at the break into a 99-75 victory thanks to a 55-33 second half.

Randle’s problems started earlier in the day off the field. Less than 24 hours after he apologized on Friday for his comments directed at Madison Square Garden fans, the NBA did not let it go without penalty and fined him $ 25,000 on Saturday for “the gruesome use of profane language during media interviews.”

Randle is certainly not the first player or coach to curse. The NBA issued a directive to teams last month trying to curb what it believes have been excessive swear words from players and coaches, and Randle was a repeat offender last week, the league noted.

He used profane language after Wednesday’s training and again after Thursday’s match, when he described his thumbs-down gesture to fans as a message to “Close [expletive] up.”

The Knicks were hoping to move on from the controversy, a few hundred miles away from the Garden fans who had come under Randle’s skin.

“It’s an emotional game,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We all sometimes say things we regret later. He said what he had to say. He went on. He is focused on the next match.

“None of us will be perfect. I’m glad he did. Just get ready for the next game. He’s been here a while and understands New York. Like everyone else, you’re having a bad day at work, and you jump back the next day. Just make sure it’s not two days in a row. “

This performance by Randle would likely have attracted Knicks fans as he shot 6-for-19, scoring 13 points and flipping the ball six times. His boxing score might look acceptable with 12 rebounds and six assists, but that would not do justice to his confusing play.

RJ Barrett had 19 points and Immanuel Quickley added 18 for the Knicks (19-21). Jaylen Brown had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for the Celtics (19-21). Jayson Tatum had 19 points and Josh Richardson added 17.

The biggest contribution may have come at the defensive end as Robert Williams III, who blocked seven shots on Thursday, blocked four this time and kept many more Knicks from approaching the edge. Forced to settle, Randle fired 1-for-8 from the other side of the arc.

The lack of Fournier, who had scored 41 points on Thursday and averaged 35 points per game in the previous three meetings with Boston, prompted Thibodeau to put Quickley in the starting lineup. That left the Knicks’ bench shorthanded with Alec Burks already pushed into a starting role as well. That was telling when an early 10-point Knicks lead disappeared as Thibodeau went to his bench.


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