New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics: Game 4 Postgame Grades and Analysis
The Celtics had yet to break 80 points in the series and waited until Game 4 to finally arrive in the postseason. Now the series heads back to New York for Game 5, with the Knicks leading 3-1.
Thanks to an incredible 16-point third quarter by Raymond Felton, the Knicks were able to battle back from a 20-point deficit. New York outscored Boston 49-30 in the second half to force overtime.
Then it was time for Jason Terry to really break through as a member of the Boston Celtics. After a rough season in green, Terry launched nine points in the overtime period to earn his team the win.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 29 points, while Jeff Green had 26. Kevin Garnett registered a 13-point, 17-rebound double-double.
Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 36 points, but not one of them was easy. Raymond Felton finished with 27 points.
The Celtics have some renewed energy and confidence now that they got the first win out of the way. They will need that and more when they return to MSG on Wednesday night, as the Knicks will be ready to go. New York will also get important sixth man J.R. Smith back after a one-game suspension.
Let's hit the Bleacher Report classroom to see how everyone graded out in the Celtics' first postseason win of 2013.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Raymond Felton, NYK: A-
The Knicks really seemed to abandon the pick-and-roll that was so effective for them in the first three games of the series. When Felton was able to get into the paint, his floaters weren't falling with the frequency of Game 3.
He started finding his stroke in the second half, hitting a few big threes to help the Knicks get back into the game. He had 16 points in the third quarter, including a last-second trey to cut the deficit to just three.
Felton's jumper from the foul line at the 90-second mark of the fourth quarter gave the Knicks their first lead of the game. He was important to the Knicks' second-half offense, stepping up and making big shots in the absence of J.R. Smith.
Felton finished with 27 points, including four big threes.
Avery Bradley, BOS: C+
Avery Bradley hit his first attempt, a corner three on the opening possession.
Unfortunately, that was not a sign of things to come, as he finished just 1-of-7 on the night.
While his offense continued to sputter, it was far less noticeable for Boston. Bradley's defense was finally effective. He was sneaky in chasing down ball-handlers and jumping passing lanes for steals and deflections. He finished the game with four steals and just three points.
Bradley was guilty of running out on the fast break before Boston secured a rebound. That led to numerous long offensive rebounds for New York.
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Pablo Prigioni, NYK: C
Pablo Prigioni's offensive outing in Game 3 was definitely an outlier. His defensive effort? Not so much.
That same effort was present for Game 4, as Prigioni lent some stout defense and hard, fast-break saving fouls.
He finished just 1-of-6 for three points but grabbed four steals and four rebounds.
Paul Pierce, BOS: A-
Paul Pierce missed a chance to seal the win with a jumper at the end of regulation, but that didn't get him down.
In the overtime period, Pierce scored the first bucket and assisted on the next. He finished with 29 points, none bigger than that overtime kick-start.
Pierce took advantage of mismatches with Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd in the first half, both in the post and on the perimeter. He went off for eight points, including two treys, at the end of the first half, pushing the Celtics' lead to nearly 20.
Pierce entered Game 4 shooting just 2-of-16 from beyond the arc, but he came up with a 4-of-8 performance on the perimeter Sunday. He finished 9-of-20 from the field overall, picking up eight rebounds and six assists.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Iman Shumpert, NYK: B+
Iman Shumpert was immensely valuable to the Knicks in the second half.
Shumpert's offense overall didn't look great, but he had a couple big baskets late in the game, including a couple of threes after intermission.
The switches in the Celtics' starting lineup kept Shumpert off Paul Pierce for much of the game. It was an important aspect to Boston's game, as Shumpert was a big hassle for Pierce in Game 3.
Instead, Shumpert was in a way hidden, defending less used Celtics players like Jason Terry and Avery Bradley. He fell into a bad habit of over-helping, which left his man open for some easy shots.
He finished with an impressive double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Jeff Green, BOS: A-
Jeff Green has had himself a pretty impressive series, despite the outcomes of the games.
On Sunday, he broke 20 points for the third time in four games. Green showed some decent aggression early on, which really ballooned as the game continued.
He seemed to look for his shot a fair amount as soon as he caught the ball. In transition, he wasn't always successful, but he went right through the Knicks defense before it had time to set up.
Green tallied 26 points and found himself at the line eight times.
Though it didn't show up in the stat book, Green worked to make himself active on the offensive glass as well, something you rarely see from any Boston player.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Carmelo Anthony, NYK: B
It was a strange night for Carmelo Anthony. Playing without J.R. Smith, he obviously had to shoulder the brunt of the offensive responsibilities, and he crumbled a bit under that pressure.
Anthony finished the first half just 3-of-15. It was apparent he could not create for teammates, so with no Smith, the offense stalled constantly. The team only registered 10 assists to 15 turnovers, of which Anthony contributed seven.
Anthony saved face in the game by going 16-of-20 from the free-throw line. Without his shot falling, the one thing Anthony could do successfully was rack up fouls on his defenders.
He finished with a game-high 36 points, but it took him 35 shots to get there.
Brandon Bass, BOS: B
Fouling out was a necessary job hazard for Brandon Bass in Game 4.
He spent pretty much his entire 31 minutes shadowing Carmelo Anthony.
Bass did a fantastic job staying in front of the Knicks superstar, using his feet and size to defend. He fell for a few ball fakes but slowly learned when they would come and avoided fouls until late in the fourth quarter. Bass made Anthony work hard and was a big reason for 'Melo's poor shooting percentage.
Bass' defensive responsibilities really sapped his offensive potency, but when provided with shots, he hit them. He finished 2-of-3 for four points and four rebounds.
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Chandler, NYK: C+
There is no statistic kept officially for fouls drawn, but that seemed to be Tyson Chandler's duty in Game 4.
Chandler played a big part in both protecting the rim and forcing fouls on the Celtics frontcourt. He also worked his magic on the offensive glass, grabbing five of his 11 rebounds there.
Offensively, he was just 2-of-3 for five points.
Kevin Garnett, BOS: A-
Kevin Garnett was the defensive presence at the rim the Celtics have needed all series.
That much was clear in his plus-16 mark in a seven-point victory. Garnett was light offensively until it really mattered. He came on strong with big buckets in the fourth quarter and overtime.
He impressively managed 37 minutes while picking up fouls No. 3 and 4 at inopportune times for the Celtics. Those forced him prematurely to the bench, affecting his offensive flow.
Garnett's 17 rebounds were clearly meaningful, but none were greater than the one in traffic to essentially seal the game for Boston.
His final line consisted of 13 points, 17 boards and six assists. A few of those dimes came in crunch time as well.
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Jason Kidd, NYK: C+
Jason Kidd had little in the form of stats but was important as a coach on the floor for the New York Knicks.
He kept his teammates under control when things got chippy and frustrating during a first-half blowout.
Kidd picked up nine rebounds but didn't score in 37 minutes of action.
Jason Terry, BOS: A-
When the Boston Celtics signed Jason Terry over the offseason, the intention was for him to hit big shots. He did just that with a pull-up trey that kick-started nine fourth-quarter points for the Celtics reserve.
Terry was cold from the perimeter early on, but that didn't stop him from being active. He took five shots in the first half, hitting three. None of this wound up mattering, however, as his overtime performance will be what is remembered.
He spent a decent amount of time running the point, with Avery Bradley switching to the off-guard.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks: C-
Losing J.R. Smith from the second unit really sapped the Knicks' effectiveness.
The bench scored just seven points, while Smith had averaged 16.3 per game in the series.
Kenyon Martin was not blameless in the foul frenzy, as he picked up four fouls in 22 minutes. Martin was effective, though, with four points and six rebounds.
Steve Novak got his one three, playing just seven minutes. He committed a bad foul during overtime, granting Jason Terry two freebies with 20 seconds left.
Boston Celtics: D+
Terrence Williams had himself a playoff highlight with a massive rejection of a Pablo Prigioni fast-break layup. He finished with one point and three assists in 11 minutes.
Jordan Crawford got an early basket, but he was ineffective after that. He even got some fourth-quarter minutes that were wasted. He had three points in seven minutes.
Chris Wilcox may have actually saved the game by deflecting the inbound pass on the Knicks' game-winning-play attempt at the regulation buzzer.