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Knicks 96, Celtics 92: Scenes from an ugly win to clinch fourth place

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Fourth!

NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth. Place.

The New York Knicks completed the impossible dream Sunday afternoon, clinching the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference with a harrowing 96-92 victory over the Boston Celtics. The Knicks will host their first playoff game in eight years next weekend.

As for the game itself, the less said about it, the better. The Celtics were missing their top seven players, and the Knicks still managed to let a 21-point second-half lead slip away thanks to some butt-nasty offensive execution and the absurd shot-making of someone named Tremont Waters. It should be noted that RJ Barrett, who helped build that big lead by scoring 14 of his team-high 22 points in the third quarter, didn’t even get a shot attempt in the fourth.

But this team has always made its money on the defensive end, and they utilized the shot-blocking expertise of Nerlens Noel to keep Boston at bay.

It wasn’t pretty — this season hasn’t always been pretty — but our guys got the job done once again.

Recap to come.