Celtics remain alive with win over Knicks
NEW YORK - The Boston Celtics used a balanced scoring attack to turn back the New York Knicks 92-86 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
The Celtics, who trail the Knicks 3-2, placed five players in double figures for the first time in the series while earning their second win in a row.
Game 6 is Friday in Boston.
Jeff Green led Boston with 18 points. He was followed by Brandon Bass and Jason Terry with 17 points apiece, and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with 16 each. Garnett added 18 rebounds and five assists, both game highs.
Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 22 points, but he made just eight of 24 shots. Raymond Felton added 21 points for New York.
J.R. Smith, the NBA's sixth man of the year, returned after a one game-suspension and was a non-factor for the Knicks, scoring just 11 points off the bench.
Smith's 3-pointer capped a 7-0 run that pulled the Knicks within 88-83 with 1:05 to play, but Garnett drilled a 15-foot jumper to extend Boston's lead with 48.3 seconds left.
The Knicks closed within 85-76 with 2:43 to go, but Green nailed a wide-open 3-pointer from the right corner, giving Boston a 88-76 edge with 2:23 remaining.
The third quarter was a nightmare for Boston in the first game of the series. On Wednesday, it was a difference-maker.
The Celtics outscored New York 24-21 in the period to advance their lead to 69-60. Boston scored just 11 points in the third in Game 1, but in Game 5, Pierce took over that quarter.
Working off the dribble, Pierce netted 10 points and Terry added eight as the Celtics controlled the perimeter. The Knicks missed their last six shots of the quarter as Anthony went into a shooting funk.
The Knicks' primary scorer in the series, Anthony was 0-for-3 from the field in the third. Felton kept it close with his distributing and scoring, getting eight points in the quarter, but he received little assistance from his teammates.
The Celtics took their first lead of the half, 34-33, on a 3-pointer from Pierce with 5:50 left in the second en route to their fourth halftime advantage in the series. Boston outscored the Knicks 11-6 after the Pierce bucket to grab the 45-39 halftime cushion.
Anthony cooled off in the second quarter, hitting just one of five shots from the field. With Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler in foul trouble, the Knicks had to reach down the bench for Marcus Camby, who was making his first appearance of the series.
Garnett had a solid first half with 10 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Anthony deposited 12 first-quarter points to help the Knicks to a 22-20 edge. Pierce failed to connect on any of his six first-quarter shots from the floor.
The Knicks opened the game on an 11-0 run during the first 4:10.
NOTES: New York guard Jason Kidd received the NBA's Sportsmanship of the Year award for the second straight season. Kidd had no points and no assists in 21 minutes Wednesday. ... The Celtics committed 15 turnovers to the Knicks' eight, continuing the series-long trend. Boston has 82 turnovers, compared to 59 for the Knicks. ... Boston point guard Avery Bradley has more turnovers (10) than assists (seven) in the series. He had four points, no assists and one giveaway in Game 5. ... Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni has accumulated 11 steals while playing four of the five games. ... Among the celebrities sitting courtside were Ben Stiller, Whoopi Goldberg, Zach Galifianakis and Kevin Bacon.