On Friday Night, at the TD Garden in Boston, the Knicks (#2 Seed, 54-28) defeated the Boston Celtics (#7 Seed, 41-40) 88-80.
The Knicks win the series 4-2 and will advance to play the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 21 points on 7-23 shooting from the floor. He added seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block.
Pablo Prigioni scored 14 points on 5-9 shooting from the floor including 4-6 from downtown. He also added five rebounds and three assists.
Jeff Green led the Celtics in scoring with 21 points on 4-12 shooting floor and 11-14 from the free throw line. He added five rebounds but also turned the ball over five times.
Paul Pierce scored 14 points on an abysmal 4-18 shooting from the floor which included 1-9 from three. He did add seven rebounds, five assists, one block and two steals. Kevin Garnett had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony made his final three point attempt in the series late in the fourth after missing twenty threes in a row.
The Knicks shot 42% from three (9-21) while the Celtics only shot 27% (6-22).
The Celtics took 33 free throws while the Knicks only took 16
The Celtics only scored 27 points in the first half and scored 33 points in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks never trailed in the game and were only tied twice early in the first quarter (2-2 and 4-4)
This is the first time the Knicks have won a playoff series since defeating the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2000.
This is the third playoff series in a row that the Knicks won where they clinched the series on the Road.
The Knicks had never won a Game 6 on the road when leading a best-of-seven series 3-2 (lost previous six) before tonight.
Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. But, I really wish it had not been so hard to finally eliminate the Celtics.
The Celtics were like the horror movie villain that no matter what you did or how you did it, they would not go away. The 20-0 run to cut a 26 point lead down to six with seven minutes left in the fourth being the perfect example.
They made that furious rally that almost sent Knick fans to the hospital and forced the Knicks to earn the series win. It was a pulse pounding, hair losing, knock down drag out game to watch that was so stressful, it took years off your life.
When the clock finally read 0.0 and they had won the game, it was very, very satisfying.
The way that they came out and punched the Celtics in the mouth in the first quarter, going up 21-5, was huge after a tough loss at Home on Wednesday.
It was also key to see guys like Pablo Prigioni and Iman Shumpert show Melo and J.R. that they can be counted on to make a shot when it is needed the most.
It had to be demoralizing to the Celtics to have guys like them play so well both early and late in this game.
This franchise the past few seasons have had wins where Melo carried them across the finish line. But, tonight it was the Knicks for the most part carrying Melo.
It was that help from other Knicks that gave Melo the confidence he needed to step up his own game and finally put the stake right through the heart of the Celtics.
The Knicks had a total team effort and they needed a total team effort to beat the Celtics on the road and clinch this playoff series.
Things need to be fixed by the Knicks if they want to keep advancing and they wont have much time to get it together.
The Pacers, much like the Celtics, will bring plenty of intensity and confidence into the series and wont be an easy out.
It will be another fight to see who goes to the Eastern Conference Finals and that is basically what you get in the Playoffs as you keep on advancing.
This has been a season of “First time in a long time” moments for the franchise and this is just another check mark on their list of things to do this year.
The Knicks have not won a playoff series since the early months of the millennium. They were led by Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell, Larry Johnson and Patrick Ewing on his last legs. They were the team that worked together to win a Game Seven in Miami to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
13 years is a long, long, long time between playoff series wins and I really hope we don’t have to wait another 13 for the next one.
At the end of the day, the Celtics are finally dead and buried, the Knicks are moving on, and now we get to do it all again starting on Sunday.
The playoff series drought is finally over. Celebrate Knicks fans, it’s been a long time coming.
Coming up next, the Knicks will advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2000 where they will take on Paul George, David West and the #3 seeded Indiana Pacers . Game One will be at Madison Square Garden on Sunday at a time yet to be determined and can be seen on ABC.