Terry Delivers in the Clutch, Keeps C's Alive
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are still ticking. They can thank Jason Terry for that.
Terry took over Game 4 against the Knicks Sunday afternoon by scoring Boston’s final nine points of the game. Those points arrived during the final 92 seconds of overtime and kept the Celtics’ playoff hopes alive.
Boston’s season was teetering on the edge of expiration during that overtime session. Trailing three games to none in the series, it was literally win or go home. Terry understood that as well as anyone.
“At the end of the day, this is it,” he said. “Every game from here on out is Game 7 for us.”
Terry wasn’t interested in allowing the Celtics to lose Game 7 on Sunday.
The biggest shot of the game came off of his fingers with 1:32 remaining on the clock in overtime. Boston and New York were all knotted up at 88-88 when Terry pulled up in transition and nailed a 3-pointer – his only trey of the game – in the eyes of his former teammate, Jason Kidd.
It was one of those shots that would make many fans scream “Nooo!” while it was in the air. Doc Rivers, on the other hand, was at the other end of the spectrum.
Rivers knows Terry’s game as well as anyone after coaching him for a full season. He sees the work that Terry puts in behind closed doors. All of that led to Rivers knowing that Terry’s 3-pointer was coming before Terry even pulled up.
“That transition 3 is something he works on all the time,” Rivers said after the game. “You knew once he got it what he was going to do.”
Rivers wasn’t the only one. Terry knew it was coming, too.
“Those are my shots,” Terry said. “When that’s your shot, you’ve got to take it and take it with confidence.”
Terry certainly wasn't lacking confidence when he took this shot. He squared Kidd up, rose without hesitation and connected with nothing but net on the other end. The bucket sent the TD Garden crowd into a frenzy and gave the C’s loads of confidence in crunch time.
Terry followed his 3-pointer up with another critical bucket on Boston’s following possession. He came off of a screen, set by Kevin Garnett, and swished home a fadeaway jumper along the baseline that put the Celtics on top by three yet again with 50.4 seconds left in the game.
“The three, and the two off the pick,” Rivers said. “Those were huge.”
Huge might be an understatement. Those two baskets saved a season and kept the Celtics alive. Without them, the C’s might be in the midst of cleaning out their lockers.
It comes as no surprise that Terry is the man who played the role of savior by hitting those shots. This is a guy who is renowned for making big shots in the playoffs. Boston brought him on board to do just that, because that’s what the guy has been doing for the past 14 years.
“That’s what he does,” said Rivers. “He’s made so many big shots in his career.”
Terry's big shots arrived at a time in which they weren’t exactly expected. Terry has struggled this season and he had been underwhelming during the first three games of this series. However, Rivers made it clear that Terry didn’t make those baskets by accident. Terry prepared his mind and his body to come through on critical plays.
Said Rivers, “Jason Terry, maybe him, Ray (Allen), Kevin (Garnett), I mean they all do the same thing. There’s no coincidence to me why they make big shots and why they do what they do. Because they take it very seriously, and they prepare for those moments, and I thought that was a great example tonight with Jason Terry.”
This was a great example of Jason Terry being Jason Terry. He lives for these moments, and thanks to him, there will be more Celtics moments Wednesday night.