On Sunday afternoon, at the TD Garden in Boston, the Knicks (#2 Seed, 54-28) were defeated by the Boston Celtics (#7 Seed, 41-40) 97-90 in Overtime.
The Knicks now have a 3-1 Series Lead in the Best of 7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 36 points on 10-35 shooting from the floor. He broke a Knicks record by attempting 20 free throws, making 16. He added seven rebounds, two assists and seven turnovers.
Raymond Felton had 27 points on 10-21 from the field including 4-9 from three. He added four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Iman Shumpert had a double double with 12 points and a team high 12 rebounds. He added two blocks and two steals as well.
J.R. Smith did not play due to receiving a one game suspension for elbowing Jason Terry in the chin in the fourth quarter of Game Three.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics in scoring with 29 points on 9-20 from the field. He added eight rebounds, six assists and six turnovers.
Jeff Green scored 26 points and had six rebounds. Kevin Garnett had a near triple double with 13 points, 17 rebounds and six assists.
Jason Terry scored 18 points, nine in overtime, including the go ahead three pointer. He was 6-6 inside of the three point line and had four assists.
The Knicks shot the ball only 34% and turned the ball over 16 times while only having 10 assists. The Celtics shot 45% and also had 16 turnovers but had 22 assists.
The Knicks were 7-30 from three (23%) with Anthony going 0-7 while the Celtics shot 8-22 (36%) from three.
Knicks out rebounded the Celtics 54-40 and had a 16-3 advantage on the offensive glass.
The Celtics bench outscored the Knicks bench 22-7.
This was the first time the Knicks played a playoff game that went to Overtime since Game 3 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Miami Heat.
This was a tough game to swallow considering that it went pretty much the same way the first two games did and yet the Knicks couldn’t pull it out.
Melo didn’t shoot the ball well all game and basically tried to play hero ball and failed time and time again. I don’t think this loss is his fault, far from it actually. It is hard to make a comeback down 20 on the road and the whole offensive plan in the first half was brutal.
This team really missed J.R. Smith’s ability to make clutch shots, play solid defense and force the Celtics to respect his game. They had no respect for any player on the floor besides Melo. Felton made them pay in the third quarter but without Smith all game and Melo’s shot being off didn’t help.
The Knicks bench scored seven points in the entire game while Jason Terry had nine points in overtime. That is never going to get it done.
For this team to fight back from 20 points down to force overtime and actually have a lead late in the fourth quarter was impressive.
I have normally thought that losing in a blowout was better than losing a close game. Technically that is wrong because losing sucks period. But, this was a situation where I respect the fight and determination the Knicks had in the second half.
The Celtics were home, they led by 20, Melo was off, Smith was out and yet they still almost blew this game. If Celtics fans are all of a sudden feeling confident, they are not exactly geniuses.
This is Celtics win is similar to the Knicks Game Four win over the Heat last year. It was fun, it was nice to break the playoff losing streak and the streamers were nice. But. we all knew deep down they would lose Game Five and that is exactly what happened.
The Knicks are still in control of this series, still have home court and will be whole again as J.R. will be back from his suspension.
Madison Square Garden will be rocking on Wednesday and the Knicks will be fired up to close out this series in front of the home fans. I’m confident this series ends in three days. If it doesn’t, then I think the glass on the panic button can officially be broken.
Coming up next, the Knicks will head back home and will try once again to win their first playoff series since 2000 as they play Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and take on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics. The game is Wednesday at 7 or 8 pm and can be seen on MSG or TNT.