Randle, Knicks beat Celtics to clinch No. 4 seed in East


New York Knicks forward Reggie Bullock (25) shoots over Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (Vincent Carchietta/Pool Photo via AP)

NEW YORK — Julius Randle and the New York Knicks will open the NBA playoffs at home.

Randle capped his All-Star season with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 96-92 to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

RJ Barrett scored 22 points for the Knicks, who won their third straight to finish 41-31 and set up a first-round series with the Atlanta Hawks.

New York is headed to the playoffs for the first time since winning the Atlantic Division title in 2012-13.

The Celtics were already locked into the No. 7 spot in the play-in tournament and rested all their top players.

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