2011 NBA Playoffs: Celtics Rout Knicks; Lakers Stop Hornets

The first playoff game at the Madison Square Garden since 2004 ended disastrously for the New York Knicks as they were handily beaten by the visiting Boston Celtics, 113-96, in Game 3 of their best-of-seven first-round series.

The Celtics, who now have a 3-0 lead in the series, took control from the start, as Paul Pierce and Ray Allen exploded from three-point territory. Pierce hit 6 of 8 from downtown while Allen went 8 for 11 to complement Rajon Rondo’s all-around game. Rondo handed out a team playoff record 20 assists to go with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Pierce led Boston with 38 points while Allen added 32. New York stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire were non-factors in their Knicks playoff debut with 15 and 7 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers took the home-court advantage back from the New Orleans Hornets as Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol led the two-time defending champions to a 100-86 victory that gave them a 2-1 lead in the series. Bryant had 30 points while Gasol broke out of a slump in the past two games to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Other Result: Atlanta Hawks 88-84 Orlando Magic (Hawks lead 2-1).