first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares BOSTON — The Celtics wanted to make a statement during their five-game homestand.After their latest come-from-behind effort against the New York Knicks, the message is clear: Boston is emerging as a contender in the Eastern Conference.Isaiah Thomas had 32 points and eight assists, Avery Bradley hit a go-ahead layup with 17.7 seconds left and the Celtics extended their home winning streak to 13 games with a 105-104 win over the Knicks on March 4.“The sky’s the limit,” said Boston’s Evan Turner, who had 21 points and eight rebounds. “At the end of the day, we always give ourselves the opportunity to play the right game and win. I think when it comes down to a four-game series and all of us are healthy and everything, I think we’ll give a lot of teams a lot of problems.”Jae Crowder had 20 points and eight rebounds. The Celtics went 5-0 during their longest stretch of home games this season despite facing double-digit deficits in four straight games.Boston trailed by eight points in the fourth quarter but used a series of mini-runs to eventually take the lead for good on the driving layup by Bradley.Carmelo Anthony had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds but badly missed a 3-pointer off the backboard as time expired.Anthony had 30 points and seven rebounds. Arron Afflalo added 17 points and Kristaps Porzingis finished with 15 points for the Knicks, who lost their third straight.“I feel bad for the guys. They did so many good things out there. They deserved to win that ballgame,” Knicks coach Kurt Rambis said. “Three seconds left and composure — that’s on me. That’s my fault. I need to have them better prepared for a situation like that.”Crowder said a 13-2 run in the third quarter was the key in helping Boston come back after trailing for most of the first half.“When it counted most, we really dug deep,” he said.With a trip to Cleveland next, the Celtics now have an opportunity to test themselves against the East’s top team.Turner said being challenged on their home court has prepared them.“When it comes down to it, sometimes you gotta weather the storm versus adversity,” Turner said. “I think we can go as far as we possibly can.”(KYLE HIGHTOWER, AP Sports Writer)last_img

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