|Last call: Celtics make furious comeback but season ends in Game 6||05.03.13 at 9:57 pm ET|
History will have to wait.
Despite one of the most furious comebacks in NBA playoff history, the Celtics’ season came to an end Friday night with an 88-80 loss to the Knicks in Game 6 at a wild TD Garden. Boston used a 20-0 run over a four-minute span midway through the fourth quarter to cut a 26-point hole down to six, and eventually cut it to four before the Knicks held on for dear life.
Iman Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni hit seven of their first nine attempts from 3-point range and combined for 27 points as the Knicks ended Boston’s hopes of becoming the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit.
The Knicks hit eight of their first 15 3-point attempts and turned 20 Boston turnovers into 17 points as New York clinched their first playoff series win since 2000.
The ice-cold Celtics lost in the first round for the first time since 2005, when they fell in seven games to the Pacers. In repeat of their offensive woes for most of the series, Boston scored just 27 points in the first half.
Paul Pierce shot just 4-of-18 from the field and finished with just 14 points. Kevin Garnett led Boston with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Jeff Green was the leading scorer with 21.
The Celtics pulled out all of the cards in their final home game of the season, including playing a video montage of the Red Sox comeback from 3-0 down in the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees before the tip.
In a repeat of Game 5 in New York on Wednesday night, the Celtics got off to a very cold start. New York raced out to a 21-5 lead in the first quarter as Pablo Prigioni hit three 3-pointers. Unlike Game 5, the Celtics couldn’t immediately work their way back into the game as they started out missing 11 of their first 14 shots and finished the first quarter trailing 24-10, while shooting just 4-for-16 from the field.
No one on the Celtics struggled more than their captain. Pierce finished the first half making just one of 10 shots while missing all five from 3-point range after going 4-for-8 from long distance in Game 5. The Knicks built their lead to 18 twice in the second quarter before the Celtics answered with a 10-0 run that included consecutive threes from Jeff Green and Jason Terry, getting the Garden crowd into the game for the first time.
Carmelo Anthony carried the Knicks offensively in the first half, scoring 14 points, including a key three-point play with just 4.5 seconds left before halftime that gave New York a 39-27 halftime lead. Anthony finished with 21 points.
Garnett hit a jumper to start the third quarter to cut the deficit to 10 but Prigioni fed Tyson Chandler for a slam dunk. That was followed by a Prigioni reverse layup and a Raymond Felton jumper and New York had a 45-29 lead. After Bass hit one of two free throws, Prigioni answered with his fifth 3-pointer with 8:56 and the Knicks matched their biggest lead, 50-32. Read the rest of this entry »
|Doc Rivers on his offense: ‘So far, I haven’t gotten them to the right spots’||04.24.13 at 12:39 am ET|
NEW YORK — Celtics coach Doc Rivers took full responsibility for the historic futility of his offense has suffered through in dropping the first two games of their series at Madison Square Garden.
For the second straight game, the Celtics established a playoff franchise record for fewest points in a half when they scored just 23 in the second half of Tuesday’s 87-71 loss to the Knicks.
“We are who we are,” Rivers said when asked about the effect of not having Rajon Rondo available. “We can’t apologize for that. That is who we have been left with and I think it is good enough to win. So far, I haven’t gotten them to the right spots. We can play better and we have to play better.”
The Celtics led 48-42 at the half. But Iman Shumpert hit a pair of threes early in the third quarter, part of a 29-6 New York run that put the Knicks in complete control. The Celtics were outscored 32-11 and converted just 4-of-17 shots from the floor in posting another abysmal third-quarter performance.
“They attacked us,” Rivers said. “We didn’t handle it very well. We have to be able to do better. I don’t know what we are doing wrong in the beginning of third quarters but we gave up those two back-to-back threes, which helped their confidence. It was a tale of two halves.”
Paul Pierce led the way with 18 points but came out with four minutes left as the Celtics conceded.
“He needs some help,” Rivers said. “I think Paul was playing pretty well. He started getting tired in the second half because he tried to do everything.”
|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Georgia Tech G Iman Shumpert||06.22.11 at 9:50 am ET|
WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).
School: Georgia Tech
Weight: 212 pounds
Stats: 17.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg 3.5 apg, 2.7 spg
What he brings: Shumpert used his length and athleticism to become one of the ACC’s premier defenders last year, and his quickness makes him very effective in transition and on the dribble-drive. The point guard was more of a facilitator his first two years but started attacking the basket more as a junior. Last year, he led a weak Yellow Jackets squad in most offensive categories, but consistent double-teams forced him into a team-high 72 turnovers. Without much of a supporting cast, Shumpert might not have been able to show his full offensive potential last year. If he can complement his athletic frame with improved shooting and decision-making, the Oak Park, Ill., product could become an asset on both ends of the floor.
Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round
What they’re saying: “He was in great shape, he was competitive, he worked out well [at last month's NBA draft combine]. He can be a Royal Ivey-type* big guard to come off the bench, be a distributor, that last-option scorer.” — NBA scouting director Ryan Blake
*In seven NBA seasons, Ivey has scored 3.5 points per game and averaged 12.7 minutes.
Notes: Shumpert’s 36.5-inch standing vertical leap at the NBA draft combine was the highest since Nick Young hit 39.5 inches in 2007. The 20-year-old played with the Jazz’ Derrick Favors in his first two years at Georgia Tech but tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he didn’t use Favors as much as he should have. Shumpert left his mark on Georgia Tech with a 22-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist, seven-steal performance against Virginia Tech last January, while holding the Hokies’ top scorer, Malcolm Delaney, to just eight points and eight turnovers.
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