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Celtics Beat Knicks in Overtime to Avoid NBA Playoffs Sweep

Photographer: Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Jason Terry of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball up the court against the New York Knicks during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 26, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston. Close

Jason Terry of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball up the court against the New York... Read More

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Photographer: Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Jason Terry of the Boston Celtics dribbles the ball up the court against the New York Knicks during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 26, 2013 at the TD Garden in Boston.

The Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 97-90 in overtime to avoid being swept in the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics at TD Garden in Boston with 29 points and eight rebounds, Jeff Green contributed 26 points and Kevin Garnett had 13 points and 17 rebounds for the home team. Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points for New York and Raymond Felton supplied another 27 for the Knicks.

New York leads the best-of-seven series by three games to one and can secure their first series win in the postseason since 2000 with a victory at Madison Square Garden in New York on May 1. No team has ever won a seven-game series in the NBA playoffs after losing the first three games.

Boston hasn’t lost in the first round since 2005, while today’s victory means it avoided being swept for the first time since the Indiana Pacers won a first-round series 4-0 against the 17-time NBA champion a year earlier.

The Celtics beat the Knicks 4-0 the last time the teams met in the postseason, in 2011.

Boston led 22-17 at the end of the first quarter and 54-37 at halftime at TD Garden in Boston. The Celtics extended their advantage to 20 points before being outscored 30-14 in the third quarter as New York closed to 68-65 with one quarter to play.

Anthony tied it at 82 points apiece with three minutes, 33 seconds remaining before Felton gave the Knicks their first lead of the game with 1:17 to play. Garnett tied it with a jump shot with 1:07 to play before Jason Terry scored nine points in overtime as Boston outscored New York 13-6 to prevent the Knicks sealing their first playoff series win since 2000.

Also today in the Eastern Conference, the NBA champion Miami Heat can sweep the Bucks with a win in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series at BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

In the West, a win for the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs would give them a 4-0 series win over the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Golden State Warriors will seek to move 3-1 ahead of the Denver Nuggets with a home win.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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