Knicks knew it wasn't going to be easy

Knicks knew it wasn't going to be easy
April 28, 2013, 6:45 pm
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BOSTON -- The New York Knicks didn't expect to strut into the TD Garden and be handed a sweep by the Celtics.

They knew the C's would put up a fight -- with veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry it would be hard to expect anything else. They also knew in spite of a strong showing of New York fans, the home crowd would create a hostile environment.

They expected a battle and they got one on Sunday. The Knicks overcame a 20-point deficit to push the Celtics to overtime, where the C's pulled out a 97-90 victory and sent the first-round series back to New York for Game 5 on Wednesday.

"It's tough to sweep a team," said Jason Kidd. "You have to give Boston a lot of credit. They're a veteran ballclub. They have won a championship, so they were going to come out and do their best today and try to keep the series going. And they did."

After holding the Celtics to an average of 75 points in the first three games, the Knicks gave up 54 points in the first half. They trailed by as many as 20, but outscored the C's 30-14 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to three points and evened the score at the end of regulation.

In overtime, the Knicks shot just 2-for-8 from the floor and missed all four three-point attempts, while they were outscored 13-6 to end the game.

"We fought all game," said coach Mike Woodson. "We had a great third quarter that got us back in the game and then we made a game out of it coming down the stretch. We had our chances in overtime. We had some missed free throws, some good looks at the rim when the ball was in and out. But they made plays coming home to secure the win for them."

The Knicks were shorthanded without J.R. Smith (16.3 ppg), who was serving a one-game suspension for a Flagrant 2 foul committed against Jason Terry in Game 3. The Celtics, led by Brandon Bass, clamped down defensively on Carmelo Anthony. The NBA's leading scorer got off to an 0-for-6 start from the floor, ultimately finishing the game 10-for-35 for 36 points (16 came at the free throw line).

"They were trying to be physical today," said Anthony. "We knew they were going to come out like that. They were fighting for dear life. They showed some heart out there today. We knew the game was going to be physical from the jump. We knew that they were going to fight for their life, which they did tonight."

On Wednesday the Knicks will be back at Madison Square Garden playing in front of their home crowd and with their Sixth Man of the Year, Smith, back on the court. The Celtics are poised to make a comeback and bring the series back to Boston. The Knicks will be on guard, once again.

"Win it," said Kenyon Martin. "There's nothing else to be said."