Celtics Top Knicks 92-86 To Force Game 6 [Video]
The Boston Celtics have new life in the Eastern Conference playoffs after holding on to beat the New York Knicks 92-86 Wednesday night to force a Game 6. The Celtics were led by Kevin Garnett, who finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds to move the series back to Boston.
The series looked all but over after the Knicks took a three-game lead, but the Celtics have since stormed back and are now just two wins away from the biggest comeback in NBA history. No NBA team has ever comeback from a 3-0 deficit to win a series in Game 7.
The Celtics will have to win at home Friday night to force a final game in New York on Sunday. Boston’s history would suggest they have a fighting chance as they were the first team to erase a 3-1 deficit back in 1968, and then they went on the next season to comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals.
The Knicks want nothing to do with it, but they may not have a choice if their shooting woes continue. Outside of Raymond Felton, who went 10-for-19 from the floor, the Knicks shot just 39 percent and made only 5-of-22 three-pointers.
Carmelo Anthony was hot and cold all night before finishing with 22 points and seven rebounds on 8-of-24 shooting. Felton led all scorers with 10 field goals as he pitched in 21 points in the Game 5 loss.
The Celtics held a six-point lead at the half but they couldn’t pull away from the Knicks in the third quarter before Brandon Bass took over in the paint. Bass couldn’t miss and kept the Celtics out front before finishing with 17 points and five rebounds.
Paul Pierce added 16 points in the win and made one clutch three after another down the stretch. Pierce was on fire from behind the arc and finished four-for-eight from three-point land.
Head coach Doc Rivers gave his team the green light to be aggressive and they did just that as they held on to force a Game 6.
“I just kept telling them let it fly, don’t hesitate,” Rivers said about his team after the game. “If it’s contested, move it. If it’s not contested, shoot it. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of that.”
The Celtics only used two players off the bench all night, as Jason Terry scored 17 points and Terrence Williams added four points in just over 16 minutes on the court.
The Celtics will now return home and try to even up the series as the Knicks will look to regroup after going cold Wednesday. Tension is high between the two teams as Jordan Crawford and Raymond Felton exchanged words after the game ended while both teams pushed and shoved before leaving the court.
Here’s video of the altercation after the final buzzer, as the Boston Celtics got the best of the New York Knicks in Game 5.
[Image via Keith Allison]