Knicks nearly blow huge lead, survive

The New York Knicks finally sent the Boston Celtics to their "funeral," but it sure came in the ugliest way possible.

Leave it to the Knicks to be up 26 points in the fourth quarter of a playoff game and nearly blow it.

A 75-49 cruise became a dogfight in the blink of an eye Friday night, with New York barely holding on to advance to the second round in the least celebratory way possible.

The Celtics went on a 20-0 run in the fourth quarter, despite having amassed just 49 points in the game up until then, and got as close as four points before their offense went back into its sensory-deprivation chamber where it belongs. But for a while there, it looked like a video game in which someone had paused and changed all the settings.

An Iman Shumpert basket with 9:49 to play pushed the New Yawkers' lead to 75-49. Just over four minutes later, the lead was down to 75-69.

Shumpert and Carmelo Anthony — who scored seven points in the final four minutes — did just enough when the going got tough to keep it from getting too hairy for the Knicks, who won 88-80.

You may recall Wednesday’s Game 5, in which the Knicks dressed all in black to commemorate the Celtics’ “funeral,” then promptly lost on their home floor. They nearly outdid themselves in embarrassment on Friday.

But Spike Lee and the gang can relax. They're still in the running to lose to the Miami Heat in the conference finals. The Indiana Pacers are up next in round two.

We were all ready to cue up the Dave Roberts videos if the Celtics had forced a Game 7. Hey, what the heck:

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