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Sunday, April 24, 2011
Number crunch: Ready for close up?

By Chris Forsberg

Some of the facts and figures that jumped off the page as part of ESPN's game notes before Game 4 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks:

* What history tells us: This is the 13th time that the Celtics have led 3-0 in a best-of-seven series. Of the previous 12 times, Boston swept their opponent four times; seven times the Celtics won in five games; and once Boston won in six games. Conversely, this is the fifth time that the Knicks have been down 0-3 in a best-of-seven series. Of the previous four times, New York was swept three times and lost in seven games once (1951 NBA Finals).

* No road closings: The Celtics have lost each of the last seven games they have played with a chance to clinch a playoff series on the road. That is the second-longest such streak in NBA history. The Utah Jazz lost 13 straight potential series-clinching road games from 1987 to 1996.

* No what the Doctor ordered: Doc Rivers is 1-11 (.083 winning percentage) in games in which his team has a chance to clinch a playoff series on the road. That is the lowest career winning percentage for any head coach in NBA history in potential series-clinching road games (minimum: five games).

* It's been a while: Elias Sports Bureau kicks the Knicks while their down while passing along this note: The Knicks have not won a postseason game since April 29, 2001. How long ago was that? Over 85 percent of the players who appeared in a regular-season game in 2010-11 had yet to make their NBA debut when the Knicks last won a playoff game (385 of 452). Also, Boston has registered 57 postseason wins since the last time the Knicks walked off the court with a playoff victory.