Did J.R. Smith's elbow on Jason Terry awaken the Celtics guard?

USA TODAY Sports

Jason Terry awoke in overtime as the Boston Celtics held off the New York Knicks on Sunday.

Jason Terry hasn't been what the Boston Celtics had hoped this season. Shooting just 32 percent during the first three games of the first-round series against the New York Knicks, Terry's most notable contribution was taking a J.R. Smith elbow to the face.

More: Celtics Blog

The result of the play on the Knicks' end was a suspension for the Sixth Man of the Year. But for Boston, the play seemingly woke Terry from a postseason slumber.

"God told me to keep fighting," Terry said in his postgame TV interview.

He must have listened. Terry scored 18 points as Boston survived a rally from New York on Sunday to force a Game 5.

"Someone said it yesterday. Maybe that elbow ... who knows?" Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Definitely, Jason Terry was angry that it happened. He let his teammates know yesterday and today. He's just one of those guys you want around your team -- whether he's playing or not. He brings sunshine."

For all Boston has been through this season, the Celtics needed it.

Terry scored the final nine Boston points in overtime. With the game tied at 88 with 1:31 to play, he pulled up in transition to hit a three-pointer over Jason Kidd on the left side of the arc. Carmelo Anthony answered with a two-pointer, but Terry returned the favor with a two off the dribble on the next possession. He finished the game with free throws and a layup to close out a 97-90 win.

"He's made so many big shots in his career," Rivers said. "You knew in transition ... That's something he works on all the time. You knew once he got it what he was going to do. I thought, watching the play, Jason Kidd knew it too. It was a big shot."

Boston had blown a 20-point lead in the third quarter as foul trouble sucked their aggressiveness. Anthony's attacking nature helped give Brandon Bass, Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green four fouls apiece within five minutes of the second half beginning.

Green gave Terry credit for keeping the crowd involved. It was reminiscent of his contributions to the Dallas Mavericks' championship run two years ago.

"He gave us energy. He kept the crowd in it," Green said. "That's what he does. He's coming alive. We needed it big tonight."

Source: All quotes via NBA.com's live media stream.

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