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Sunday, April 24, 2011
Round 1, Game 4: Celtics vs. Knicks

By Greg Payne

(3-0)     -- vs. --     (0-3)
at Madison Square Garden, New York City, 3:30 p.m. | ABC, WEEI (850 AM)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- At his best, Rajon Rondo can seize a rebound, dart away from defenders, and set himself or an All-Star teammate up for a basket.

Amare Stoudemire can shake a backboard with a powerful dunk, or scare a spectator sitting courtside by forcefully blocking a shot out of bounds.

He can't right now, though.

Rondo is rolling and Stoudemire is sore, a big reason the Boston Celtics will bring a 3-0 lead over the New York Knicks into Game 4 of their first-round series on Sunday.

The Celtics will be looking for their first sweep since beating Indiana in three games in 1992, so long ago that it was Larry Bird's last playoff series victory.

After needing seven games just to get out of the first round in both 2008 and '09, they would welcome the chance to do something easily for a change -- especially with likely second-round opponent Miami poised to finish a sweep of its series with Philadelphia.

"I've never been part of a sweep, but I don't like to think about that stuff. We don't worry about that stuff," forward Paul Pierce said after practicing at Madison Square Garden. "It's about getting better one game at a time. We want to close the series, but they're not going to give it to us."

Read the full preview HERE.