Kevin Garnett isn't usually the first option in the final seconds of a tight game, but the 14-time All-Star excelled in that role on Tuesday night.
Garnett made the go-ahead basket in the post with 13 seconds left and made a critical steal under the basket on the other end with four seconds left to send the Boston Celtics to a 96-93 victory over the New York Knicks at TD Garden in Game 3 of their first round series in the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
Boston grabbed a 2-0 series lead with Tuesday's win, putting the Knicks in a big hole as the series transitions to Madison Square Garden in New York City for Game 4 on Friday night and Game 5 on Sunday night.
Garnett finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, but it was Rajon Rondo who led the Celtics on offense, setting a career playoff high with 30 points on 13-of-23 shooting and seven assists.
Paul Pierce finished with 20 points and five rebounds, Ray Allen added 18 points and Jeff Green scored six to lead all bench scorers with six points for Boston.
Carmelo Anthony (17 rebounds) had a career playoff high with 42 points on 14-of-30 shooting for New York, which was forced to play without Amar'e Stoudemire (four points, five rebounds, 18 minutes) for the entire second half after he sat out with back spasms.
New York was already missing starting point guard Chauncey Billups, who was held out of Game 2. Tony Douglas started in place of Billups, finishing with 14 points and seven rebounds in 34 minutes. Jared Jeffries had 10 points and six rebounds for the Knicks.