The Boston Celtics' 96-93 win over the New York Knicks in Game 2 of their first-round NBA Playoffs series wasn't pretty at any point. Rajon Rondo had one of his most bombastic postseason performances, setting a career playoff high with 30 points, and Carmelo Anthony was absolutely scintillating with 42 points, 17 rebounds and six assists. But Jared Jeffries was involved in the Knicks' final two offensive possessions, each with New York trailing by one point. No game that features that can be called pretty.
With Chauncey Billups sidelined with a knee injury and Amar'e Stoudemire knocked out in the second quarter with back spasms, 'Melo had to do it all by himself on offense. By the back half of the fourth quarter, Boston began sending immediate doubles at Anthony, forcing the ball out of his hands. This resulted in Shawne Williams, Jared Jeffries and 0-11 Bill Walker alternately open. With the KNicks trailing 92-91 in the closing minute, the ball found its way to Jeffries, a magnificent offensive minus. He took the ball right at former MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Garnett, and scored. A New York seemed like destiny.
But there were about 20 seconds left, and Garnett quickly answered by backing down Jeffries on the other end and sinking a running hook. The Knicks had 13 seconds to answer, down one point. 'Melo received the ball and was swarmed; he hit Jeffries, seemingly unguarded under the rim. Slow to react, Jeffries allowed Garnett to rotate back down before attempting an interior pass to Walker. KG was able to deflect the ball, corral it and call a timeout before the Knicks fought in for a jumpball.
After the timeout, the Knicks fell asleep as the Celtics essentially ran out the clock before New York could foul. Delonte West hit a pair of freebies to ice the game with 0.6 seconds left.
Game 3 of the series is Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York.