Pierce, Green star; Boston beat New York 97-90, avoid sweep

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BOSTON (Sporting Alert, Box Score) — The Boston Celtics battled to a 97-90 overtime win over the New York Knicks to keep their season alive and forced a fifth game in their NBA playoff first round series on Sunday.

Paul Pierce and Jeff Green combined for 55 points to lead the way for Boston, which avoided the sweep and cut the seven game series to 3-1.

Pierce scored 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Green added 26 points and six rebounds in the win for the Celtics, which blew a second half 20 point lead before taking the win in overtime.

Both teams finished 84-84 in regular time, after Pierce failed to convert a late jumper, before Boston outscore the Knicks 13-6 in overtime.

Kevin Garnett survived early foul trouble to finish with a double-double of 17 rebounds and 13 points, while Jason Terry, who scored the last nine-points for Boston, including the go-ahead three-pointer in overtime, added 18 points off the bench.

New York, meanwhile, was led by Carmelo Anthony, who scored a game high 36 points, although he struggled from the field on 10-of-35, including 0-for-7 from three-point range.

Anthony had a playoff career low 3-for-15 from the field in the first half. He also committed seven turnovers in the loss.

Raymond Felton had 27 points and Iman Shumpert 12 points and 12 boards in the defeat for the Knicks, who take a 3-1 lead back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 Wednesday.

New York was playing with one of its premier contributor, J.R. Smith, who was suspended for elbowing to Jason Terry during Game 3 on Friday night.

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