0-2 vs Boston
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New York @
109 - 114
Record: 13-13
BOSTON (AP) -- Kendrick Perkins had already shattered his career high for rebounds, and he was feeling pretty good about it.

So when he got the ball in the lane in the fourth quarter of Boston's 114-109 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, he skipped the chance to pass it to star Paul Pierce and took the shot himself. He missed badly.

"Doc called me over and said, 'Perk, let me introduce you to your teammate: This is Paul Pierce,' " Perkins said of his scolding by coach Doc Rivers. "I said, 'My bad, coach. I just got caught up in the moment.' "

Posting career-highs of 13 rebounds and 25 minutes -- his previous highs were three and eight -- Perkins and the rest of the Boston bench helped hold off the Knicks. Marcus Banks scored 11 -- all in the fourth -- while playing the entire quarter along with fellow reserves Walter McCarty and Ricky Davis.

"It was a dilemma for me because you have Gary Payton sitting on the bench. We know who he is," Rivers said. "I just looked at Marcus, he has been struggling of late. He'd been playing great. ... I said, 'You know what, I'm going to stick with him. And if we can get through this game with him in the game, this might mean something later.' "

And that was fine with Payton.

"I said, 'Don't worry about me. Let the kid play,' " he told Rivers. "He's a young guy and he needed a game like this for his confidence. I thought he deserved to be out there."

Banks, a 6-foot-2 point guard, also blocked two shots for Boston, which lost to the Heat on Tuesday even though Miami was playing without Shaquille O'Neal.

"I've got a lot of learning to do, which makes it understandable if they don't want me in at the end of the game," Banks said. "I'm playing behind a Hall of Famer in G.P., who I'm trying to learn a lot from."

Mark Blount scored 22 points and Pierce had 21 as Boston beat the Knicks for the 11th time in 14 games.

Nazr Mohammed had 22 points and 18 rebounds, Jamal Crawford scored 25 and Stephon Marbury had 12 points and 10 assists for the Knicks, who were hoping to bounce back from Tuesday's 123-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. But the Knicks blew a 14-point, first quarter lead.

"I just honestly feel like we played as hard as we possibly could, especially coming back from a 40-point loss," Marbury said. "Things just didn't go our way."

Crawford injured his right big toe in the third quarter when Jiri Welsch stepped on it. Crawford is expected to have X-rays on Thursday.

The game matched the two top teams in the woeful Atlantic Division, where the Knicks hold a half-game lead despite a 13-13 record.

The Knicks led by 14 in the first and 10 in the third before the Celtics scored eight consecutive points to tie it 74-all with 3:53 left in the quarter. New York still led 84-80 at the start of the fourth quarter when McCarty hit a 3-pointer and then stole the ball from Jerome Williams to set up Davis' 18-footer that gave the Celtics the lead.

Banks made two quick baskets for Boston, and the Celtics led 89-87 when Davis drove for a dunk and then Pierce hit a 3-pointer from the left side to make it a seven-point lead, forcing the Knicks to call timeout.

But Banks followed that with a steal and a pair of free throws, then Davis made a great steal and saved the ball from going out of bounds. That set up Pierce's dunk on a fast-break pass from Banks to give Boston a 98-87 lead.

After a 15-footer from Kurt Thomas, who played most of the game in foul trouble, McCarty hit another 3 to give Boston a 12-point lead -- its biggest of the game.

New York made it 112-109 in the final seconds on Tim Thomas' 3-pointer, but Banks made two free throws with eight seconds left to ice it.

It was the second time in five days the Celtics rallied from at least 14 points to win. They trailed Cleveland by 16 on Saturday before winning.

Celtics forward Raef LaFrentz sat out after spraining his left ankle in Tuesday night's 108-100 loss to Miami. Boston expects LaFrentz to be ready for Sunday's game at San Antonio. ... New York has used the same starting five for all 26 games this season, the longest such streak for the Knicks since they started keeping track in 1984-85. ... Davis missed a breakaway dunk with Boston leading 81-78, and coach Doc Rivers threw his head back in disgust. ... Former Celtics center Vin Baker, who left Boston after battling alcoholism, was booed loudly in his first time back.

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