Celtics Wrap: C’s Come Alive Late, Beat Knicks In 105-104 Thriller


BOSTON — A 13-game home winning streak. A perfect 5-0 homestand and fifth consecutive victory.

The Celtics seemed poised to throw it all away Friday against the lowly New York Knicks, who led Boston by as many as eight points with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

But the Celtics turned it on at the last possible second, ending the game on a 13-4 run to pull off a streak-saving 105-104 win at TD Garden.

Avery Bradley delivered the go-ahead layup with 17.7 seconds remaining, and Carmelo Anthony’s deep 3-pointer at the buzzer missed its mark to help the Celtics earn their 13th consecutive home win.

Anthony dropped 30 points for the Knicks, who put all five starters in double figures. But he was outdone in the scoring department by Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who scored a game-high 32 points and added eight assists.

Evan Turner chipped in a season-high 21 points and eight rebounds, while Jae Crowder tallied 20 in another thrilling home win.

Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Jared Sullinger

The Knicks’ two best players helped them match the Celtics blow for blow in the first quarter.

Anthony (13 points) and Kristaps Porzingis (eight points) combined for 21 of the Knicks’ 31 points in the frame. The 7-foot-3 rookie went 4 for 6 from the floor as part of a strong offensive quarter for New York, which shot 52 percent from the field and went 3 for 5 from 3-point range.

Boston struggled mightily shooting the 3-pointer in the first half. New York did not, and opened up a double-digit leads as a result.

Looking a bit lethargic after Wednesday’s high-energy win, the Celtics had connected on just 2 of 13 deep balls by halftime and went 1 for 5 from three in the second quarter.

On the other end, Anthony and Jose Calderon each hit a pair of triples as part of the Knicks’ 6 for 11 3-point effort in the first half.

Despite their shooting woes, though, the C’s trailed by just five points at halftime after closing out the second quarter on an 11-5 run.

The Celtics turned the game into a track meet to start the second half, ripping off a 13-2 run that included 10 fast-break points and put Boston in front.

But the Knicks weathered the storm, responding with a 10-2 run of their own that included six points from Arron Afflalo. When it was all said and done, New York actually outscored Boston by one in the third to stay in front entering the fourth.

The C’s turned on the jets when it mattered most, storming down the stretch to pull off the come-from-behind victory.

Boston ripped off an 11-2 run by returning to its formula for success, as Jared Sullinger threw two beautiful outlet passes to Crowder for back-to-back fast-break layups, and Turner knocked down a midrange jumper that put the Celtics in front by one.

Anthony responded with a tough midrange jumper to give the Knicks the lead, but Bradley’s layup on the ensuing possession proved to be the difference.

Tyler Zeller gave the Garden crowd something to cheer about early in the fourth quarter with this monster slam:

The Celtics finally will hit the road, but just for one game. They’ll battle the Eastern Conference-leading Cavaliers in Cleveland on Saturday night before returning to TD Garden for two more home games. Tipoff at Quicken Loans Arena is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (back) holds the ball as Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) defends during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
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