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The Celtics season is over, and another off-season of uncertainty now faces the team.
The Knicks led by as many as 26 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics, led by Avery Bradley rattled off a 20-0 run and got the lead all the way down to four before the offense disappeared again and the boys in green fell, 88-80.
Paul Pierce looked washed up for all but about a minute of this game, and shot just 1-for-9 from three and 4-for-18 overall. Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 10 rebounds, but couldn’t out-muscle Tyson Chandler for some key rebounds late.
Jeff Green left it all out on the floor with a 21 point performance. Green attacked the Knicks’ defense in the fourth quarter and got to the line 14 times on the game. Green looked exhausted down the stretch, but continued to push the ball up the court.
The Celtics had no business winning this game, so it’s hardly surprising that they couldn’t complete the comeback, but it was fun while it lasted. The Celtics got out-rebounded 42-35, turned the ball over 19 times, and shot just 38 percent.
J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony played incredibly lackluster games once again for the Knicks, but Iman Shumpert, Pablo Prigioni, and Raymond Felton had no trouble picking up the slack for most of the contest.
The futures of Garnett and Pierce remain a huge mystery for the Celtics moving forward, but one thing is certain: They’re a tandem that won’t go quietly.