Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and the New York Knicks held on after blowing most of a 26-point lead to beat the Boston Celtics 88-80 in Game 6 on Friday night in Boston and advance in the postseason for the first time since 2000.
Iman Shumpert scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, when the Celtics cut a 75-49 deficit to four points. But Anthony made a jumper to give New York an 81-75 lead and then sank a 3-pointer, then J.R. Smith converted a three-point play to return the lead to double digits.
Jeff Green scored 21 points for the Celtics, who were hoping to become the first NBA team to advance in the playoffs after losing the first three games.
The Knicks had not won a playoff series since Patrick Ewing and Latrell Sprewell (and current backup center Marcus Camby) helped them reach the 2000 Eastern Conference finals. They will open the second round Sunday at home against the Indiana Pacers.
Paul Pierce scored 14 points on 4-of-18 shooting, making one of nine 3-point attempts. Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who face another offseason of talk whether to break up their aging roster.
Pacers 81, Hawks 73: George Hill and David West each scored 21 points and Indiana withstood a furious Atlanta comeback in the fourth quarter, closing out the opening-round playoff series in Game 6 in Atlanta.
The home team had won every game until the Hawks returned to Philips Arena and set a franchise record with just nine points in the second quarter on 1-of-15 shooting. The defense broke down in the third, allowing Hill and West to combine for 22 points, and the Pacers built a 65-50 lead going to the fourth.
Grizzlies 118, Clippers 105: Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 23 points each and the Grizzlies beat visiting Los Angeles to win the first-round series 4-2.
The Grizzlies had never won four straight postseason games before this series, and they became only the 10th team in NBA history to win four straight after trailing 0-2. They will open the second round at Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Thunder 104, Rockets 93: Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Kevin Martin added 25 to lead Oklahoma City to a series-clinching victory in Game 6 at Houston.
The Rockets were looking to become just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0.
James Harden, who the team said had strep throat on Thursday, led Houston with 26 points.