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Can Celtics pull off a Red Sox-esque comeback on Knicks?

Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics bench celebrate

Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics bench celebrate a basket late in the game against the Knicks during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. (May 1, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Halfway toward making NBA history, the Celtics walked off the Madison Square Garden court Wednesday night so giddy that some postgame trash-talking with the Knicks almost incited a fight.

Inside the locker room, Kevin Garnett tried to restore order.

No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven postseason series, and Garnett reminded everyone that the Celtics -- now trailing 3-2 -- still are a long way from becoming the first.

"I don't know what everyone is talking about, getting comfortable and feeling good," Garnett said. "We're down 3-2. It's not like we evened it up. We're going home down 3-2, so I don't know how that's feeling comfortable."

Garnett, who turns 37 this month, has been playing this game long enough to know momentum can be especially fickle in a postseason series. So the last thing he wants the Celtics to do is rile up a Knicks team that could be feeling the pressure of potentially blowing a 3-0 lead.

"We're not getting overexcited," Paul Pierce said. "That's the thing."

Of course, these are the same Celtics who, after avoiding the sweep last Sunday in Boston, spoke so freely about how all the pressure is on the Knicks to close out this first-round series.

But after reserve Jordan Crawford exchanged words with Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton on the court after Game 5, Boston's veterans stressed the importance of focusing only on themselves, not wanting to do anything more that might get the Knicks out of their sudden funk.

"I really don't care about their mindset, what they're going through," Jason Terry said when asked if the Knicks now are feeling the pressure. "Every game is a Game 7 for us. If we lose, it's over."

Only three of 105 teams have even forced a Game 7 in the NBA after trailing 3-0, so the Celtics know they still are facing an uphill climb beginning with Game 6 Friday night in Boston.

"For us, it's all about being resilient," Terry said. "Do you want to pack up your bags and go home or do you want to play another game?"

That the 2004 Red Sox came back from a 3-0 postseason deficit to beat the Yankees and reach the World Series is not lost on these players.

Asked about the Red Sox becoming the only baseball team to climb that mountain, Terry said David Ortiz is a neighbor and that their children play together, so he's "very familiar with what they did and the history they accomplished."

Might the Celtics follow the Red Sox's lead?

"We win this next game," he said, "and then anything's possible."

New York Sports