The Boston Celtics may have been down 3-1 entering Game 5 of their Eastern Conference playoff series with the New York Knicks Wednesday night, but they’re not letting their season end without a fight. After falling behind 11-0 to open the game, the Celtics came all the way back to take a 45-39 halftime lead.
Boston's comeback was fueled by the strong play of forward Brandon Bass. A role player who scored a combined seven points in the last two games, Bass exploded for 11 first half points, including nine in the first quarter to help Boston get out of their early hole. Kevin Garnett added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who are trying to force a Game 6 in Boston on Thursday.
The Knicks have gotten a solid bounce-back performance from star Carmelo Anthony early on in Game 5. After shooting just 10 for 35 from the field in a Game 4 loss, Anthony has 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field.
Raymond Felton has added nine points for the Knicks, who would seal their first playoff series win since the 1999-2000 season with a victory Wednesday.
Will Melo perform better with Smith back in the lineup?
Melo has been better, but it's hard to make the case it's because of Smith. Anthony finished the first half with a solid 14 points, on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. Smith has been limited to just three points, while missing all five shots from the field in his first game back from suspension.
Can Terry continue momentum from Game 4?
After an impressive 14-point outing to help Boston survive elimination in Game 4, Terry has come back to Earth Wednesday night. He shot just 2-for-7 from the field in the first half, however one of those shots was a late three-pointer which gave Boston its six-point halftime lead.
Will the Celtics find enough offense?
So far, so good. The surprise of the evening has undoubtedly been Bass, whose nine-point first quarter almost single-handedly pulled Boston out of its 11-0 hole. Add in a combined 16 points from Terry, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley to go along with the typical stellar performances of Garnett and Paul Pierce, and Boston had one of its most-balanced halves of these playoffs to open Game 5.