The Celtics held on to a big lead Saturday night. That shouldn’t seem like a revelatory accomplishment, but it sure felt like a time to celebrate after what had happened against the Knicks 48 hours earlier.

Not only did the Celtics win big Saturday, but after New York seized a 10-point lead early in the second quarter, Boston persistently pushed the game in the other direction and never slipped. Any micro run by New York was wiped out, a brief scare turning out to be a harmless nuisance.

It hasn’t been going that way of late. There is seemingly always a moment in the second half when the Celtics are cruising along, hit a pothole, then the air slowly leaks from their tires. Then they hit another bump and suddenly they have a flat.

There is probably undue pressure on the closing lineups Ime Udoka has been trying to make work because the moments leading into crunch time puts them on their heels so often. But as the Celtics hit the halfway point of the season Monday, the coda to Saturday’s 99-75 win proved that now is the time to change.

The new regime for this season may have started halfway through the fourth quarter, when Al Horford was waved over to the scorer’s table by the coach. Udoka called a play that turned into a Celtics dream, with a Rob Williams pick-and-pop working as Jaylen Brown drew the defense to the strong side, the ball kicked out to Williams, then


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