Once up 3-0 in their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks this week have the appearance of a team that is in a world of trouble.
On Wednesday, the Knicks missed another opportunity to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, falling to Boston 92-86 before a stunned crowd at Madison Square Garden.
The Celtics’ seven-man rotation proved too much for the frustrated Knicks, overcoming an 11-0, first-quarter deficit and taking a 45-39 advantage into halftime. The Celtics were quite balanced on offense in Game 5, producing five players—Kevin Garnett (16), Jason Terry (17), Paul Pierce (16), Jeff Green (18) and Brandon Bass (17)—who scored at least 16 points.
Carmelo Anthony, who played through a left shoulder injury he sustained in the second half, and Raymond Felton combined for 43 points, the same amount that the eight other Knicks who played in Wednesday’s game scored collectively. Not good.
Both teams attempted 22 3-pointers in Game 5, but Boston knocked down 11 to New York’s five. The series shifts to Boston’s TD Garden on Friday night for Game 6, which starts at 7 p.m. ET. New York, despite dropping two straight games to Boston, leads the series 3-2.