NEW YORK — Win or go home.
It's not just a catchy phrase uttered repeatedly during the playoffs.
For the Boston Celtics, who less than a week ago trailed 3-zip in their first round playoff series, it was the only way they could approaching doing the seemingly impossible - rallying to win a series after dropping the first three games.
The C's moved a step closer to doing the unthinkable in defeating the Knicks 92-86 in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series.
With the win, Boston now trails 3-2 in the best-of-seven series with Game 6 in Boston on Friday.
Down the stretch, it was Jeff Green coming alive to score 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter which included a pair of buzzer-beating 3s.
To the Knicks credit, they certainly made things interesting.
Boston led by as many as 15 points in the fourth, but the Knicks came storming back and had the C's lead down to just five points with about a minute to play after a J.R. Smith 3-pointer.
Following a Celtics time-out, Kevin Garnett drained a jumper with 48.3 seconds to play that put the C's ahead 90-83.
A New York time-out followed, but there was a sense throughout the storied Madison Square Garden that Garnett's jumper - points 13 and 14 for him on the night - pretty much sealed the deal for the C's.
After the time-out, Raymond Felton's 3-pointer was off the mark and was rebounded by Green which put the game away for the C's.
Boston's victory seemed unlikely when you look back at how the game began.
A New York blowout seemed to be in the making as the Knicks opened the game with an explosive 11-0 run.
The C's gradually crept back into the game, getting an unexpected lift from Brandon Bass' 9 first-quarter points.
It was much needed not only because of the early deficit, but also because of the horrific shooting by Paul Pierce who missed all six of his shots in the first quarter.
Even with the Captain off to a horrible start, Boston found itself only down 22-20 after one quarter of play.
New York continued to do just enough to keep their lead until a 3-pointer by Pierce put the C's ahead briefly, 34-33.
Moments later, the Knicks regained the lead when Raymond Felton connected with Tyson Chandler on a lob dunk that put New York back on top, 35-34.
But the Celtics continued to claw their way through the game, and seemingly got a burst from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett putting the C's on their backs and catapulting Boston to a 45-39 halftime lead.
The Celtics seemed to have a firm grip in the third quarter until Raymond Felton once again took over and single-handedly brought the Knicks from eight-down to within 56-54.
Coming out of a time-out, Jason Terry drained a 3-pointer to put the Celtics up by five.
A pair of free throws by Iman Shumpert had it back to being a one-possession game only for the Celtics to counter by eventually pulling ahead for their biggest lead of the night, 69-60, following a 3-pointer by Jason Terry which would serve as the final points scored in the third quarter.
NEW YORK — Win or go home.