NBA

Porzingis revels in 'awesome feeling' of beating Knicks in Celtics debut

By Sports Desk October 26, 2023

Kristaps Porzingis called it an "awesome" feeling after dropping 30 points to lead the Boston Celtics to victory over his former team, the New York Knicks.

Porzingis was drafted by the Knicks with the fourth overall pick of the 2015 draft, spending four years at Madison Square Garden before he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Latvia native would go on to play for the Washington Wizards before joining the Celtics in a three-team trade prior to this season, and on his return to a hostile Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, Porzingis played a starring role for his new team on debut.

Porzingis finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, scoring nine straight points in the fourth quarter to seal a 108-104 victory which got Boston, one of the favourites to reach the NBA Finals, off to a winning start to the new NBA season.

His 30 points were the most ever for a Celtics debut, leaving Porzingis ecstatic with his start in a new uniform and at the performance against his old team, as Jayson Tatum also impressed with a game-high 34 points.

Porzingis said: "Honestly, it’s an awesome feeling to come back now being a Celtic and to play here.

"Playing here at the Garden is always special as the home team, obviously, but also on the road here it's really fun too. Even getting booed and getting all that, it's still cool, I really like that and enjoyed that.

"At one point it got really crazy when the fans got into it and they made the comeback. But we stayed poised, we stayed calm and we were able to finish out the game. 

"Most importantly, we won the game and [I am] very excited about what we have ahead of us."

The Celtics are at home to the Miami Heat on Friday in a repeat of last season's Eastern Conference finals, which Boston lost in a thrilling seven-game series.

Miami started its season with a dramatic 103-102 win over the Detroit Pistons.

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