Boston Celtics center Al Horford is excited to see his team doing so well. The big man knows however that his club can do even better, after defeating the New York Knicks on Saturday.

“I feel like we're not where we need to be yet and that's a good thing,” Horford said. “I feel like Joe (Mazzulla) is really challenging us to continue to get better.”

The Celtics shot a scorching 57 percent from the floor Saturday night, en route to a 116-102 victory over the Knicks. The Celtics also made 43 percent of their three-point attempts. Boston is now 45-12 on the season, and far ahead in first place in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston is a clear favorite to win the East, considering Philadelphia is dealing with an injury to big man Joel Embiid. The Milwaukee Bucks are also struggling, following a coaching change midseason.

It's respectable for Horford to continue to want to do better. The Celtics had six players score in double figures on Saturday, but a three-point barrage in the third quarter really set the game apart. Horford finished the contest with 10 points, to go with seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

The Knicks were playing with a depleted roster, but got 34 points from All-Star guard Jalen Brunson. The team just couldn't keep pace with Boston's perimeter shooting, and Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau gave credit to Boston's offense following the game for that dazzling display. The Knicks fell to 34-23 following the loss.

Boston next plays the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, in another pivotal Eastern Conference game. That contest tips off at 7:30 Eastern.