Smith said Tuesday he'd have been playing golf instead of practicing had he played in Game 4, and players wore black to the game Wednesday as if they were heading to the Celtics' "funeral."
The Celtics didn't like it, with reserve Jordan Crawford exchanging words with Anthony and Raymond Felton after the final buzzer.
Forget the funeral. The Celtics are still very much alive.
"Well, we was going to a funeral, but it looks like we got buried," Smith said. "Basketball is a very humbling game."
Smith finally made a 3-pointer to end his drought, and then another cut what had been a 15-point Boston lead to 88-83 with 1:05 remaining. But Garnett made a jumper, then knocked down two free throws to clinch it.
The Knicks were just 5 of 22 from 3-point range, which looked worse until Smith hit three late.
The Sixth Man of the Year received a loud ovation when he went to check in during the first quarter, but heard a few boos by the third. They will likely be deafening on Friday, the kind usually reserved in Boston for a Lakers player.
By the time Anthony drove right into the middle of the lane for a dunk that made it 11-0, the Celtics already had three turnovers. But Bass made a pair of free throws and then a dunk to settle them down. He added five more points in the period as Boston climbed within 22-20 even though Pierce missed all six shots in a scoreless 12 minutes.
He made a 3-pointer shortly after returning from a break in the second, and another gave the Celtics their first lead at 34-33 with 5:46 remaining in the half. Then Garnett had two baskets in an 8-0 run that gave Boston a 42-37 advantage, and the Celtics walked off at halftime to mostly stunned silence within Madison Square Garden with a 45-39 lead.
The second halves had belonged to the Knicks in the series, but the Celtics remained steady in the third quarter, opening a 69-60 lead on Terry's 3-pointer with 41 seconds left, and pushed it to 75-60 early in the fourth.
NOTES: Woodson said the team will try to get Amare Stoudemire some contact in practice to see if he will be ready to play in the next round. Woodson said Stoudemire, who is recovering from right knee surgery, is "looking pretty good right now." ... Jason Kidd was honored before the game after winning the NBA's Sportsmanship Award on Tuesday. He is the first player to win it in back-to-back years and joins Grant Hill as the only player to win it multiple times.
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