Celtics Beat Knicks 101-89

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    New York Knicks' forward Amare Stoudemire (1) drives against Boston Celtics' Glen Davis (11) in the first half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, at Madison Square Garden on April 24, 2011.

    Kevin Garnett had 26 points and 10 rebounds, Rajon Rondo added 21 points and 12 assists, and the Boston Celtics swept their way into the Eastern Conference semifinals, holding on for a 101-89 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

    Ray Allen and reserve Glen Davis each added 14 points for the Celtics, the first team into the second round after sweeping a series for the first time since a 3-0 victory over Indiana in 1992, the last series victory for their old Big Three before Larry Bird retired.

    They had a 23-point lead cut to four in the fourth quarter, but pulled away again behind Garnett, who scored 20 after halftime.

    The current Big Three of Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce twice was extended to seven games in the first round, but this one was far easier than expected against the injury-weakened Knicks. The Celtics could now have a week off while they wait for likely second-round opponent Miami, which was forced to a fifth game earlier Sunday after a late rally by Philadelphia.

    The Celtics almost faced the same scenario, but a Knicks comeback attempt stalled in the final minutes.