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Boston Celtics beat New York Knicks in dramatic game: 4 winners and losers

Flush with championship aspirations the Boston Celtics took to Madison Square Garden to visit the New York Knicks Wednesday evening as the two longtime rivals opened their seasons.

It’s one of the most heated rivalries in the basketball world. Multiple technical fouls throughout the game and physical play defined this season opener in the Big Apple.

In the end, Boston came out on top by the score of 108-104 even after New York opened up a six-point lead with less than four minutes remaining.

Kristaps Porzingis put up a record performance in his debut with the Celtics. Julius Randle was awful for the homestanding Knicks.

Here, we provide four winners and losers from the Boston Celtics’ season-opening four-point win over the New York Knicks.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NBA Playoff and Finals predictions

Winner: Immanuel Quickley was New York Knicks best player

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One day after failing to come to terms on a contract extension, this young guard didn’t let it impact him in front of the home team Wednesday night. Pretty much from the start, Quickley showed himself to be the best player on the court for the Knicks.

Quickley scored 10 points in the first quarter. He finished with 24 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Perhaps, it’s time for Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau to insert Quickley into the starting five. Getting this type of production out of the gate could go a long way in terms of starting games better. After all, the Knicks found themselves down 16-11 when Quickley entered the game for Quentin Grimes.

Loser: Jaylen Brown comes up small for the Boston Celtics

NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks
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Boston added Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday to the mix this past summer as a way to provide the Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum duo some more help. Two of these players did their part as Boston pulled off a hard-fought win against New York Wednesday night.

Brown was not one of those players. The recently-extended wing connected on a mere 4-of-11 from the field while scoring 11 points. If it weren’t for the 64 combined points between Tatum and Porzingis, we’d be talking more about Brown’s season-opening performance. It might be one game. But that five-year, $288 million contract doesn’t look too great right now.

Winner: What a Celtics debut for Kristaps Porzingis

NBA: Preseason-New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
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Speaking of Porzingis. Previously known as the “Unicorn” during his time with the New York Knicks, the big man made his debut against his former team. He faced a hostile road crowd throughout with chants of “f**K Porzingis” as the game was playing out.

Despite this, the injury-plagued center went nuclear against his former team. Porzingis dropped 15 points in the first quarter alone as Boston opened a 30-18 lead after three quarters. Porzingis then came up big as the Celtics found themselves down six with less than four minutes remaining.

This helped Boston outscore New York by a margin of 13-3 in the final 3:30 of the game. In the end, he finished with 30 points on 8-of-15 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds and blocking four shots. Those 30 points represent the most in a debut game for a player in Boston Celtics history.

Loser: Julius Randle equals volume shooter, nothing more

NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks
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We’ve seen it a lot in the past. Randle acting the part of a volume shooter more often than not. In fact, the former NBA Most Improved Player shot just 37% from the field in last season’s playoffs. That iteration of Randle was a live and “well” Tuesday night as New York dropped a narrow affair.

Randle shot 5-of-22 from the field. You read that right. He missed 17-of-22 field goal attempts, scoring a mere 14 points. Adding to his disaster class of a performance is the fact that Randle also connected on a mere 1-of-5 free throws while finishing minus-13 in 34 minutes. That’s just gross.

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