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Positive tidbits from Celtics win over a tough Knicks team

 This contest was in doubt through the first three quarters, but the Celtics opened up some breathing room in the final period - to take the game 114-98. Here are some highpoints:

There is a developing synergy between Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum. Exhibit A being one early play where Jrue whipped a pass to Jayson under the hoop for a score - bringing back memories of the DJ-to-Bird easy hoops from the mid-80's.

Jaylen Brown ended up as team-second in assists with six dimes. His lob pass to Porzingis for the dunk was perfection. Brown is working on his passing game.

The Celtics bench remains shallow, but Sam Hauser is shooting lights out lately. He was 4-of-6 from 3-point land for 12 points, and he is a willing board guy (4 last night) and competent defender. If he can do this consistently, his contribution will be critical.

Payton Pritchard may be easing out of his slump. He only had five points, but was 2-of-3 from the field and made his sole 3-pointer. He also added three rebounds and three assists.

Worries about Kristaps Porzingis being a 3-point aficionado can stop. He scores from everywhere. Versus the Knicks, he poured in 21 points - 7-of-11 from the field - 3-of-6 on treys - and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. He has shown himself to be great on lobs - very good in the half court - and a menace to the opposition from long range.

The Celtics could have let this one get away, but they didn't. That may be the most-important tidbit of all.


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