The Boston Celtics trailed the New York Knicks at halftime of Game 1 of their NBA playoff series Sunday night, 51-43, following a particularly poor second quarter by the home team. But with the third quarter came a different Celtics team, one led by defense -- the Knicks were held to just 13 points in the third frame -- allowing Boston to battle back and take the lead with 9:05 left in the fourth quarter.
The final nine minutes was back-and-forth, with the Knicks taking leads of 80-75 and 82-78, only to see the Celtics fight back and eventually draw to within one point with just 37.3 seconds left, 85-84, on a Kevin Garnett alley-oop.
A Carmelo Anthony and a Jared Jeffries kickball violation gave the Celtics the ball with exactly 21 seconds left. Cue Ray Allen.
He did it again. Again.
Allen finished with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting with six rebounds, but it didn't come easy to him on Sunday night. From CelticsBlog:
Ray Allen led Boston with a very efficient 24 points on 9-15 shooting, but he wasn't hot early. He didn't take a single shot in the first frame, and only managed to attempt 3 in the whole first half. But in that second half, something clearly changed, and you saw guys like Delonte West (who played great tonight) sticking picks on guys like he was the left tackle for the Patriots. 3 field goal attempts in the first half turned into 12 in the second, including but not limited to his game winning shot with 11.6 seconds left.
Game 2 is set for Tuesday night, at 7 p.m. ET.