The Knicks led 58-51 at halftime, and 90-83 after three quarters (what happened to the Celtics' defense?). Amar'e Stoudemire led all scorers with 39 points -- "could score from pretty much anywhere," CelticsBlog notes. Rajon Rondo missed a few minutes with a sprained ankle. But it all still wasn't enough, because the Celtics scored 35 in the fourth quarter and Paul Pierce dropped 32 points on the night on 10-of-18 shooting, including the game-winner dagger with just 0.4seconds left.
Much of the credit goes to Pierce (obviously), but CelticsBlog points out the key contributions made by Nate Robinson and the Celtics' free-throw shooting.
Nate Robinson really answered the call in Rondo's absence, and was a huge part of the comeback effort in the 4th. Some big shots, some timely passes, and good defense on Felton for portions of the game, Nate was the better point tonight for the C's which speaks less probably for Nate's overall ability but more for Rondo's injury. [...]
That's a great thing, because the FT's were a little wacky tonight in their distribution. Nobody likes saying the refs had anything to do with a game. Its a cop-out. That said, there was a pretty big free throw discrepancy and it was not because the C's weren't going to the rack. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Knicks had 3 more FT's attempted in just the third than the Celtics had in the entire game until that point. However, much of that discrepency was made up in the 4th, with the Knicks finishing with only 5 more FT's attempted by games end.