Boston Celtics Eliminated from NBA Playoffs After 88-80 Loss to Knicks

Michael DulkaContributor IMay 3, 2013

BOSTON, MA - MAY 3:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics gets by Pablo Prigioni #9 of the New York Knicks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs following an 88-80 loss to the New York Knicks in Game 6 of their postseason series. After falling behind 3-0 in the series, the Celtics showed strong fight to win two games and force a Game 6. 

It was a wild game in which the Celtics trailed by as many as 26 points before cutting that deficit to four in the fourth quarter. 

The Celtics got buried early after coming out of the gates with a terrible first-quarter performance. After trading buckets early and a 4-4 tie, the Knicks went on a 17-1 run to take over the game.

The terrible first quarter set the tone for much of the game: 

The Celtics mustered up one final push but ultimately came up short. They went on an inspiring 24-2 run to tighten the game, but Knicks were able to shut the door on Game 6 and the series.

Avery Bradley and Jeff Green led the run. They combined to score 18 of the 24 points. Paul Pierce added the other six points with a three-pointer, a quick steal and an and-1 layup. 

The Knicks' lead quickly disappeared as they went cold and turned the ball over at a rapid pace. They were completely blindsided by the Celtics' frantic defense and quick barrage of points. 

Carmelo Anthony finally responded for the Knicks and put an end to the run. He got to the free-throw line and made the pair. After getting stripped by Bradley, Anthony responded with a jumper. 

The teams traded misses before Anthony landed the dagger. After missing his last 18 three-point attempts, Anthony hit a huge triple down the stretch to give the Knicks the breathing room they needed at 84-75. 

ESPN's J.A. Adande tweeted out the stat of the game:

Pierce had a rough shooting night, going 4-of-18 for the game. He finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Jeff Green led the Celtics with 21 points on 4-of-12 shooting. 

Now the Celtics have to make some tough decisions. With Pierce and Kevin Garnett nearing the ends of their careers, this might have been their last game wearing the revered Celtics jersey.