NEW YORK — Isaiah Thomas had 20 points and eight assists, and the Boston Celtics wore down the New York Knicks in a 97-89 victory on Tuesday night.

Jae Crowder and Tyler Zeller each added 16 points, while reserves Evan Turner and Kelly Olynyk were also in double figures as the Celtics were fresher and sharper in dominating the final 15 minutes.

Turner had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Olynyk scored 13 points in the Celtics’ fifth victory in six games.

Carmelo Anthony had 16 points and 14 rebounds but shot just 4 for 16 in the Knicks’ sixth loss in seven games. Robin Lopez added 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Arron Afflalo ended a shooting slump with 18 points but had some careless turnovers.

The Celtics had scored at least 110 points in six straight games but turned to their defense in this one after losing 119-114 to Orlando on Sunday. They held the Knicks to 37.8 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers – well, some actually didn’t look forced at all.

The Knicks raced to a 9-0 lead and still led late in the third quarter, but threw away any chance of seizing control of the game by turning it over six times in the period, including a hideous stretch of three turnovers in 24 seconds by Afflalo.

The Celtics broke away from a 64-all tie to lead 70-65 heading to the fourth, then opened the quarter with six straight points, sparked by Olynyk.

The Knicks would get it down to four, but consecutive jumpers by Turner midway through the period steadied the Celtics, who soon pushed it back into double digits again.

Anthony fouled out in the final minute, with one of his fouls a rare flagrant on an offensive foul when he swung his arms to get into shooting position and caught Crowder in the face.


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