Rapid Reaction: Celtics 92, Knicks 86
May, 1, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: Time to get nervous, Knicks fans.
The Knicks missed their second chance to close out the Celtics on Wednesday night, falling 92-86 to Boston at Madison Square Garden.
A series they once led 3-0 is now 3-2 heading to Boston for Game 6. No team in NBA history has ever rebounded from a 3-0 series deficit. But, as most New Yorkers can tell you, it happened in baseball in 2004 when the Red Sox came back on the Yankees.
The Knicks hope to avoid that inglorious fate.
On Wednesday, their offense failed them. Carmelo Anthony finished 8-for-24. J.R. Smith, back from a one-game suspension, finished with 14 points on 3-for-14 shooting.
Smith hit a 3-pointer with 1:05 to play to cut the lead to five points, but Boston's Kevin Garnett shook off Tyson Chandler to hit a 20-footer to put Boston up six, helping seal the win with 48 seconds left.
New York will need better performances from its scorers on Friday night if it hope to close things out and win its first playoff series since 2000.
JET STREAM: Jason Terry, the Knick agitator, poured in 17 key points, including a 3-pointer with three minutes to go to give the Celtics a 12-point lead. He had five 3s on the night.
Smith answered Terry's 3 with a 3-pointer of his own but Jeff Green (18 points) hit a 3 to put Boston up 88-76 with 2:24 to play. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce each had 16 points. Garnett had 18 rebounds.
Brandon Bass defended Anthony well and chipped in 17 points.
ANOTHER OFF NIGHT FOR ANTHONY: Speaking of Anthony, he struggled all night against the Celts' physical defense. He went 2-for-10 in the second half. He finished with 22 points, but needed 24 shots to get there. In Game 4, he missed 25 of 35 shots.
Anthony may have been affected in the second half by a left shoulder injury. He got tangled up with Kevin Garnett and appeared to tweak his shoulder. He did not leave the game.
THREE-EALLY? The Knicks went a debilitating 5-for-22 from 3-point land. They went 3-for-14 in the second half and hit just two of their final eight. Yikes. Anthony went 0-for-5 and has missed his last 12 3s. Smith went 3-for-8.
For a team that relied so heavily on 3s, the misfires from deep buried the Knicks.
The Knicks shot just 23 percent from behind the arc on the night and lost for the first time at home in 13 games.
BAD BLOOD? Raymond Felton appeared to get into a skirmish with Jordan Crawford and D.J. White as the teams left the floor after the game -- another example of bad blood between two teams that don't like each other.
NO NOVAK: Steve Novak left the game in the third quarter and did not return. He had two points in three minutes.
3-0 HISTORY: Entering the 2013 postseason, only 10 of the 103 teams that fell behind 3-0 forced a Game 6, according to Elias.
Only three of those 10 teams forced a Game 7.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks will travel to Boston to play the Celtics in Game 6 on Friday.
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.