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Sports

April 29, 2013

Celts top Knicks 97-90 in OT, avoid playoff sweep

(Continued)

The Celtics found their range from the start and connected on 51.3 percent (20 for 39) in the half.

“We established our defense and we made shots,” Pierce said. “I thought it really gave us confidence when we got out to the fast start because our offense has really been struggling.”

But the Knicks still have a big advantage with three possible chances to get the one win they need to advance to the second round. They were swept in the opening round by the Celtics in 2011 then lost to the Miami Heat in five games in 2012 after dropping the first three games.

This year, the Knicks won the first two games at home then took Game 3 in Boston 90-76 on Friday night.

“We did our job when we came here. We got us a win,” Felton said. “That was our goal.”

And now the Knicks get Smith back.

“We know how dangerous he is,” Terry said. “He’s going to come out, obviously, tough, aggressive, looking to be a spark for them but we’re just resilient.”

The Celtics need to be as they try to get to a sixth game in Boston on Friday night.

“This is the first time that we really came out with fire in our eyes,” Terry said. “Every game from here on out is Game 7 for us.”

Notes: Boston had just three offensive rebounds while the Knicks grabbed 16. ... The Celtics have been swept six times in the 112 playoff series in their history. ... The Knicks were 19-2 in their previous 21 games. The Celtics were 5-14 in their previous 19. ... For the Celtics, Garnett, Green and Brandon Bass each had four fouls five minutes into the third quarter. Bass committed his fifth with 5:10 left in the period and fouled out with 4:27 to go in the game. ... Anthony committed his fourth with 4:08 remaining in the third.

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