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Celtics' season on the line in Game 6

The Celtics are facing elimination, but coach Brad Stevens expects his team's best basketball against the Hawks on Thursday night.

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Now

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

This time it's the Celtics who are the home team shooting ice cold. Boston missed 28-of-its-first-37 shots and has made only 3-of-14 treys with six minutes left in second quarter.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Hawks 20, Celtic 17 (end 1st): Jonas Jerebko carrying Boston early on both ends of the floor. He's got eight points and had a loud late-first quarter swat of Dennis Schroder. Celtics shooting a mere 29 percent (7 of 24). Kent Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr. with five points apiece.

Michael Wallace ESPN Staff Writer 

The NBA's officials report for the final 2 minutes of the Heat's Game 5 loss to Charlotte didn't go Miami's way with regard to the late non-call on Dwyane Wade. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said it's time to move on to focus exclusively on Game 6 Friday in Charlotte.

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Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Jonas Jerebko barking at Dennis Schorder with a "Get that s— out" after the late first-quarter block.

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston fans were so appreciative of seeing Bill Russell in attendance on the JumboTron that the Celtics showed Russell twice during same timeout. And Russell cracked a smile and waved after the second wave of cheers.

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Paul Millsap is doing his best Mutombo impression. The Hawks forward already has three blocks, a couple of them emphatic swats, in eight minutes. Hawks are practically contesting everything in the paint and Isaiah Thomas draws a crowd of two to three Hawks each time he drives into paint.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Bill Russell on JumboTron.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

During lineup introductions, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas stands alone in corner and team points at him as he is called. Says it's his quiet time to reflect before game.

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Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

The crowd here at TD Garden was hyped way before tipoff with pregame video showing Celtics history. Fans sang latter part of national anthem in unison aloud.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's an interesting quote from Carmelo Anthony, via SI Now, on if he's in Phil Jackson's long-term plans for the Knicks: "I think so. I think so. That was a situation where I really sat down and looked him in the eye man to man and he told me that. That's the only thing I can go off of," he told SI's Maggie Gray. "Another man sitting in front of me and telling me what he feels, what he likes and what's his plan. That's the only thing that I can really go off of. Now if you go back on that word and for me to look another man in their eye and (they lie), then that's a different story."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's Carmelo Anthony on why he can be an asset in free agency: "When it comes down to the players, I think I have a little more control over that," he told ESPN while promoting a Gillette event in Manhattan. "I know how to get in contact and speak with the players directly. If it's somebody that they want me to go out and talk to, I know how to get to them directly and speak to them on a level that they feel confident and comfortable speaking on. Not just come to an interview, sit and talk to the execs. I'll talk to you from our experiences as an athlete, those experiences. So you can relate to me, I can relate to you. But (potential free agents) don't need to lie to you. If you're interested, you're interested. If you're not, you're not."

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics going big tonight: Bill Russell courtside for Game 6 vs. Hawks.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's Carmelo Anthony on why he still believes in Phil Jackson: "I don't really know what's happening as far as the coaching decisions and the players. At this point, I still have to believe in what Phil is doing. I can't say that I don't believe in him no more, this is over with. I still have to believe in him. I'm here, I still want to be here. I still want to be successful so I don't have no other choice but to believe in what's his plan."

Ohm Youngmisuk ESPN Staff Writer 

Alex Rodriguez in the house at TD Garden for Hawks-Celtics Game 6.

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens on the loud atmosphere inside TD Garden for this year's playoff games: "I've said this many times, I've been so impressed ever since I've been here with the Celtics fans. You can clearly feel the energy levels increasing as the months go by and as the days go by with this group."

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

TV viewing tonight: One eye on the NFL Draft. One eye on Capitals-Penguins. One eye on Hawks-Celtics. Hmm. May need to borrow someone's eye.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Carmelo Anthony said there is no need to look for any deeper meaning behind his absence last week during Phil Jackson's triangle practice. Jackson invited some of the Knicks to work out and run through the triangle offense last week. Anthony wasn't there. Some took it as a sign of discord between Anthony and Jackson. "I don't think nobody should look to, should even look at that. That was more for younger guys who was up there working out, training," Anthony told ESPN during a promotional appearance for Gillette. "Phil did that, Phil spoke to the people he wanted there. So it wasn't something that was mandatory, it wasn't something (where) I was supposed to be there."

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Isaiah Thomas is good to go after twisting his ankle in Game 5. "Today it was just as simple as a non-verbal thumb up. So he's fine. He's good to go; he's ready to roll."

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Spencer Hawes will miss Game 6 with an MCL sprain in his right knee, the Charlotte Hornets announce. Hawes will be re-evaluated in a week, according to the team.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks are set at front court and hints that he wants the club to prioritize talent over finding players that fit the system this summer. "I believe we have one of the best front courts in the NBA, I believe that," Anthony told ESPN during a promotional appearance for Gillette. "You put a couple of other pieces around that, I think we have something that we can work with, that we can go out and compete with. So I think everybody just needs to be on the same page when it comes to that and not trying to figure out what piece fits here, what piece fits there. At this point, you've got to get players."