BOSTON – Jason Terry’s nose still hurt. He wasn’t about to let his pride suffer as well.
Two days after being smacked by J.R. Smith’s elbow, the guard the Boston Celtics count on for his shooting scored their last nine points and kept their season going.
The Celtics beat the Knicks 97-90 in overtime on Sunday to avoid a first-round sweep and force a fifth game in New York on Wednesday night. Avoiding elimination provided all the motivation Terry needed.
It wasn’t really the elbow, he said. It was more (like) this is it. I mean, the season’s over. You can leave it all out here tonight and go home for a long summer or you can live to play another day.
But, he conceded, his nose still hurts right now. As long as I feel that, I guess I’ll be thinking about it.
The NBA suspended Smith for the game, and the Knicks could have used his shooting. Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points and Raymond Felton picked up the slack with 27, but New York made just 28.9 percent of its shots in the first half as Boston took a 54-35 lead.
J.R. is a big piece of what we do, but he wasn’t here, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said, so I’m not using that as an excuse.
New York had tied the game 84-84 after trailing by 20 points early in the third quarter. It was 88-all before the Celtics regained control and took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Terry. Anthony hit a short jumper, but Terry connected on a 15-footer with 50 seconds remaining for a 93-90 lead.
After Anthony, who shot 10 for 35 for the game, missed a three-pointer with 21 seconds to go, Terry was fouled by Steve Novak and made both free throws. He added a layup to close out the game.
But the Celtics still have a huge deficit in trying to become the first team to win after trailing a series 3-0 in the NBA playoffs. The Knicks are trying to win their first playoff series in 13 years.
We have to be confident going back home, Anthony said. We were confident here today.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 29 points, Jeff Green added 26 and Terry finished with 18.
HEAT 88, BUCKS 77: In Milwaukee, Miami’s Big Three finally have their sweep.
LeBron James scored 30, Ray Allen had another big game against his old team and the Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
It’s the first time the Heat have swept a playoff series since James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami three years ago.
The Heat will face the winner of the Brooklyn Nets-Chicago Bulls series – Chicago leads 3-1 – but the next round won’t begin until next Saturday.
SPURS 103, LAKERS 82: In Los Angeles, Tony Parker scored 23 points, and San Antonio completed first-round sweep of injury-plagued Los Angeles in Game 4.
Tim Duncan had 11 points and six rebounds for the second-seeded Spurs, who will face the winner of Denver’s series with Golden State in the second round.
Pau Gasol had 16 points for the Lakers, who were swept from the postseason for the second time in three years.