Knicks' comeback wasted as Celtics win Game 4 in overtime
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BOSTON - Carmelo Anthony's only thought Sunday afternoon was to return to New York with the Knicks having completed a sweep of the Celtics. But his shot failed him at the wrong time.
Anthony finished with 36 points but never got into any rhythm. He shot 10-for-35 and committed seven turnovers in the Knicks' 97-90 overtime loss to Boston in Game 4 of this first-round series at TD Garden.
"I was just trying to win the basketball game," Anthony said. "It would have been a great feeling to close it out in Boston. I was trying to do whatever I can to win the basketball game. I was just trying to be aggressive. I missed a ton of shots."
The Knicks, who trailed by as many as 20 in the third quarter, still are up 3-1 and can end the series at home in Game 5 Wednesday night. They will have J.R. Smith back as they again try to win a first-round series for the first time since 2000.
Smith, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, was suspended by the league for throwing an elbow and "striking the chin" of Jason Terry in Game 3. The Knicks' offense sputtered for most of the game without Smith, their second-leading scorer.
They scored only 35 points in the first half and fell behind 59-39 when Jeff Green hit a three-pointer with 9:25 left in the third. But Raymond Felton filled the Smith void and outscored Boston 16-14 in the third quarter.
The Knicks led only once in the game, when Felton's jumper made it 84-82 with 1:18 left in regulation. Terry was the difference in overtime, scoring the Celtics' final nine points in the last 1:32. His three-pointer put Boston ahead for good at 91-88.
"Someone said maybe that elbow changed the events for all of us," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. 'Definitely, Jason Terry was angry it happened."
Anthony was kicking himself for misfiring as much as he did. He shot 0-for-5 in the last 3:33 of regulation and also missed two free throws with 1:50 left and the score tied. After Kevin Garnett's jumper tied it at 84 with 1:07 left, Anthony missed two outside shots in regulation and then went 1-for-4 in overtime. "We as a team didn't shoot the ball well," he said. "I didn't shoot the ball well. Defensively, we were still there. We look forward to Wednesday. I can tell you that."
Anthony did most of his scoring from the foul line, where he was 16-for-20. Felton scored 27 points and Iman Shumpert had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Paul Pierce, who missed a jumper in the closing seconds of regulation that would have won the game, scored 29 points. Green had 26, Terry scored 18 and Garnett added 13 points, 17 rebounds and six assists to help the Celtics stave off elimination.
"They've showed it the whole series, that they're going to fight," Jason Kidd said. "Those are a bunch of fighters, guys that don't quit. They're going to continue to keep playing until it's over. We knew that coming into the series."
Anthony tied it at 88 with two free throws with 2:22 left in overtime. Terry sank a three-pointer in transition with 1:32 left. After Anthony hit a fadeaway jumper with 1:17 to go, Terry answered with a 13-foot jumper to make it 93-90 with 50.4 seconds left.
Anthony missed on a three -- he was 0-for-7 from beyond the arc -- and Terry's two free throws made it 95-90. After Felton and Anthony missed threes, Terry scored on a run-out.
"It would have been nice to close it out, but that's a tough team, a competitive team," Mike Woodson said. "We played all year to get home-court advantage, and if you get one on the road, that's a major plus. We just have to go home and handle our business at home."