Boston Celtics: Kenyon Martin

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsKevin Garnett gets up a first-quarter shot against Tyson Chandler.
NEW YORK -- Analysis from the Boston Celtics' 92-86 defeat of the New York Knicks in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference first-round series on Wednesday evening at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks lead the series 3-2:

The nitty gritty: Jeff Green scored a team-high 18 points to pace five Celtics players in double figures, including Jason Terry with 17 points (five 3-pointers) off the bench and Paul Pierce with 16 points after overcoming early struggles. Kevin Garnett finished with 16 points and a team-high 18 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-24 shooting, while Raymond Felton added 21 points, six rebounds and four assists. J.R. Smith, back after a one-game suspension for elbowing Terry in Game 3, was a nonfactor for much of the night (and maybe even a liability) as he missed his first 10 shots. Smith finished with 14 points on 3-of-14 shooting after hitting a trio of late-game triples.

Turning point: In a one-possession game midway through the third quarter, the Celtics embarked on a 16-4 run spanning into the fourth frame. Pierce and Terry hit 3-pointers late in the third as Boston stretched its lead to nine, but the Celtics opened the fourth on a 6-0 burst that culminated with a vicious one-handed flush by Green that pushed the Celtics out front 75-60 with 9:05 to go. A feverish late-game rally saw the Knicks pull within five (88-83) with 65 seconds to play, but Garnett hit a tough jumper to help fend them off.

I'm still standing: The Celtics reserves typically stand until Boston's first made basket of the game. Still standing four-plus minutes in as the Knicks built an 11-0 run, the backups settled for when Brandon Bass -- the early hero of the game for Boston -- made a free throw to break up the shutout with 7:32 to play in the first quarter. The Celtics managed to trim their deficit to two at the end of the frame, and a more inspired second quarter had them up six at halftime as the momentum swung in their favor.

Technical difficulties: Smith and Terry -- involved in the Game 3 dust-up that got Smith ejected and later suspended for Game 4 for a flagrant foul 2 elbow -- renewed pleasantries and were assessed double technicals with 6:45 to play in the game. Earlier in the game, referees initially assessed Kenyon Martin with a flagrant foul for hammering Garnett. Upon video review, it was downgraded to a personal foul.

What it means:
Well, we appear to have a series again. With their backs to the wall after losing the first three games, the Celtics responded with back-to-back wins. As Doc Rivers will certainly point out now, this is as close as a series can be after five games. Boston has to like its chances of evening things up when the series returns to Boston for Game 6 on Friday night at TD Garden. But it's still an uphill climb for the Celtics and one that will require winning in New York again on Sunday if they can force a Game 7. But Boston is playing with renewed confidence after these two wins and has put New York on its heels.

MacMullan: C's were close with Martin

March, 27, 2013
3/27/13
1:40
AM ET
Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAYKenyon Martin thought he'd be in Celtics green this season.
Just how hard did the Celtics consider adding Kenyon Martin? From Jackie MacMullan:
The New York roster will include one Kenyon Martin, who signed with the Knicks last month but was sure he'd be wearing Celtics green this season.

"It was real close," Martin told me before last night's game. "Like, the deal was almost done. From what I understood, [coach] Doc [Rivers] wanted me and the players wanted me, but in the 11th hour …"

In the 11th hour what?

"They didn't pull the trigger," Martin said. "And I'm not talking a few days ago or even a few weeks ago. This was a couple of months ago.

"So now I'm here and I'm going to make them pay -- I'm going to make all the teams that passed on me pay."

It's hard to fathom why the Celtics passed on a guy who submitted nine points and five boards Tuesday night and whose defensive energy is precisely what is missing in Boston's lineup. Perhaps they were scared off by his creaky knees. Maybe it was the whispers out of Denver that his stay there was divisive.

Either way, they could have kicked the tires on Martin for a 10-day contract for short change. The Knicks signed K-Mart to a prorated deal that is worth less than what Boston is paying Keyon Dooling to be a "coaching consultant," a job description that has become a bit of a moot point since his friend [Rajon] Rondo went down.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Isaiah Thomas
PTS AST STL MIN
22.3 6.0 1.0 27.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsI. Thomas 6.0
StealsM. Smart 1.2
BlocksT. Zeller 0.7