Mistake-prone Knicks routed for first preseason loss

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Paul Pierce scored 18 points as the
Boston Celtics routed New York 113-89 Saturday night, handing the
Knicks their first loss of the preseason.

Wally Szczerbiak added 17 points and rookie Leon Powe scored 16
for Boston (2-3).

The Celtics shot 56 percent from the field in building a
27-point halftime lead.

Szczerbiak scored seven of his nine second-quarter points during
a two-minute span near the end of the half, and rookie guard Rajan
Rondo dazzled the crowd with a spin move and layup that gave the
Celtics a 61-34 lead at the break. Szczerbiak led all first-half
scorers with 15 points.

The Knicks (3-1) had more turnovers (16) than field goals made
(11) in the first half and shot just 33 percent from the floor.

Boston led by as many as 34 points in the third and owned a
93-63 lead entering the final period. Powe scored 10 of his points
in the fourth quarter when the game was already well in hand.

Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 15 points. Nate Robinson had
13, and Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury added 12 points apiece.

Boston forward Al Jefferson was cut above the right eye in the
first quarter and required three stitches. He returned to the floor
in the second quarter wearing a bandage over the cut.

Forward Brian Scalabrine (left shoulder) and center Theo Ratliff
(sore lower back) did not dress for the Celtics.

For the Knicks, guard Steve Francis did not make the trip with
the team while he recovers from oral surgery.

The game was played before a sellout crowd of 9,500 at the
Mohegan Sun Arena, the home of the WNBA's Connecticut Sun.