When the New York Knicks finally won a playoff game in 2018, the crowd at Madison Square Garden erupted in joy.
The greatest crowd in NBA history (15,000) was on hand to see the Boston Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 101-92 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The score tied the series at 1-1.
New York hasn’t won a home playoff game since 2013 when the Knicks took down the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Seven consecutive losing seasons, seven head coaches, and a plethora of free agent busts preceded their victories.
On Wednesday, though, all of that was in the past thanks to Most Improved Player Julius Randle’s 15 points and 12 boards, which led New York to victory.
Rose Fuels Knicks
By scoring 26 points in 39 minutes of action, Rose led the Knicks to a 101-92 victory and a 1-1 series tie. D-Rose had a stat line of 9 points, 21 shots, 2 threes, 6 free throws, 4 boards, 4 dimes.
And 2 assists on just 21 attempts from the field. Nonetheless, Rose did more than just rack up the statistics; he also roused a dozing Julius Randle.
At halftime, Randle was 0 for 6 from the field with just 2 points scored; however, with D-Rose as a member of the Knicks’ starting unit to begin the third quarter.
The 2021 Most Improved Player winner scored 11 points on 4-5 shooting, helping the Knicks cut a 13-point deficit to a single-point lead.
First Playoff Win Since 2013
The Knicks’ triumph on Wednesday was their first in the playoffs in eight years. In a repeat performance, it was held in Madison Square Garden.
With the Knicks consistently finishing last in their division, the once-lively Mecca of Hoops had been silent for nearly a decade.
But with the help of Rose and an All-Star season from Julius Randle, the Knicks have made the Garden feel like paradise once more.
While Knicks fans may have acted as if the team had already clinched an NBA championship, there is still much work to be done.
The Hawks achieved their goal of a split in New York and now hold the advantage of playing at home in the series.
The next two games (Games 3 and 4) will be played in Atlanta, where the Hawks have fared well so far this season.
Knicks fans left Madison Square Garden feeling elated after their team had finally advanced to the playoffs.
The Knicks evened the series at 1-1 by beating the Hawks 101-92 in Game 2, after losing a close Game 1 and making Hawks player Trae Young the public’s enemy No. 1.