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Celtics nip Nuggets in 3 OT
Boston Celtics shooting guard Jason Terry (4) celebrates against the Denver Nuggets during the first half at TD Garden. (Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)
But TEN extra minutes?
Jason Terry, who missed his first five shots in extra time, nailed a 3-pointer with 1:33 left, then stole the ball from Andre Miller as the Celtics earned their seventh straight win, a 118-114 triple-overtime triumph that ended Denver's nine-game run.
Miller, who had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds off the bench, missed a 3-pointer that could have given the Nuggets the lead in the closing seconds. Terry (26 points off the bench) hit a meaningless layup at the buzzer.
Paul Pierce, who set up Terry's winning shot, had a triple-double, compiling 27 points, 14 assists and 14 rebounds in a whopping 54 minutes. Kevin Garnett, playing a season-high 47 minutes, hit three jumpers in the third overtime and finished with 20 points, 18 rebounds and six assists.
Ty Lawson's basket with 0.8 seconds left in regulation, after a controversial out-of-bounds call, forced the first overtime, while Jeff Green's 3-pointer from the left corner with 23.8 seconds left sent the game to the second OT. Pierce, who missed a critical free throw with 32.5 second left in the second OT, forced the third with a contested 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining.
Lawson led Denver (33-19) with 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Danilo Gallinari had 18 points, including a deep 3-pointer that tied the game at 113-113, and 10 rebounds, while Kenneth Faried posted 14 points and 12 boards.
Terry's winning 3-pointer was Boston's 13th of the game, on 30 tries.
The Celtics (27-23) blew an 11-point, third-quarter lead but managed to move to 5-4 in overtime games.
Denver suffered its first OT defeat in four tries.
The Nuggets rallied after losing Andre Iguodala, who suffered a right cervical strain in the third quarter and didn't return.