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The Celtics scored under 80 points for the third straight game and now trail the Knicks 0-3 in their seven game playoff series after a 90-76 loss in Boston on Friday night.
Jeff Green led the Celtics with 21 points and 9 rebounds, but seemed to turn the ball over every time the Knicks double teamed him. Green finished with five turnovers. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined to shoot just 11-for-28. Pierce had 17 points, while Garnett grabbed 17 rebounds.
The Knicks were led by a 26 point outing from Carmelo Anthony, and a 15 point, 10 assist game from Raymond Felton. The Knicks offense was humming for most of this game and they shot 50 percent from the field, and 40 percent from three overall.
The Celtics on the other hand had all sorts of trouble on offense (again) and shot just 40 percent overall. Turnovers continue to plague the Celtics, as the Knicks scored 26 points off 18 Celtics’ turnovers.
Doc Rivers made the move to insert Jason Terry into the starting lineup to take ball-handling pressure off Avery Bradley. Brandon Bass moved to the Celtics’ bench as a result and was part of a reserve unit that mustered just 10 points on 3-for-15 shooting.
The Knicks led wire-to-wire in this one, and the only drama came in the fourth quarter when J.R. Smith was ejected for popping Terry in the jaw with what appeared to be an intentional high elbow. Terry got up and ran at Smith, but Rivers and Green were there to keep Terry from getting into an altercation.
Unfortunately, this game felt like the slow sputtering out of a Celtics’ era. Pierce and Garnett look hobbled and tired, and no NBA team has ever recovered from a 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series. It remains unknown what Pierce and Garnett’s career plans are after this season, but it’s hard to shake the notion, both figuratively and visually, that the Celtics are now in year seven of what was a four year plan.