New York, NY (Sports Network) - Despite facing elimination and giving up the first 11 points Wednesday night, the Celtics weren't fazed at Madison Square Garden.
Instead, the veteran leadership of Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Kevin Garnett helped to pull the Celtics through to extend their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series for another night.
They're halfway to making history.
Garnett had 16 points and 18 rebounds, and the Celtics beat the New York Knicks, 92-86, in Game 5.
Terry went 5-of-9 from beyond the arc and ended with 17 points. Pierce finished with 16. Jeff Green hit a couple of big 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter and tallied 18 points, while Brandon Bass scored 17 for the Celtics.
Boston, which trails the best-of-seven set, 3-2, has a giant mountain to climb. No team has ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven NBA playoff series.
The Celtics, though, could look to another intense Boston-New York rivalry for inspiration. The Red Sox of 2004 made history by coming back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
J.R. Smith, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, struggled in his return to the New York lineup with 14 points on 3-of-14 shooting. Smith, who was suspended for Game 4 for throwing an elbow at Terry, said he would have been playing golf if he'd have played in the fourth contest because the Knicks would have swept the series. Instead, they'll make another trip to Boston for Game 6 Friday night.
Carmelo Anthony went 8-of-24 from the field for 22 points, but missed all five of his 3-point shots, part of a 5-of-22 performance for the Knicks.
Smith missed his first 11 shots before sinking three 3-pointers late in the final quarter, the second of which got the hosts within 88-83 with 1:05 remaining.
Garnett, though, used a pump fake to get Tyson Chandler in the air and drained a shot from beyond the foul line with 48.3 seconds remaining to seal the outcome.
There was a tense moment at the end when Boston's Jordan Crawford and New York's Raymond Felton exchanged words near midcourt.
The Celtics made half of their 22 3-point tries and drained all 17 of their free throws.