BOSTON — Jason Terry held back for as long as he could. But after sinking a layup with 20 seconds remaining in overtime, the final dagger in the New York Knicks last night, the fun-loving guard couldn’t help but break out his trademark “Jet” dance.
“It’s been in the hanger for a while so I had to let that out,” said a chuckling Terry of the celebration where he running down the court with his arms out like wings. “You have to be yourself and do what makes you happy.”
With the Celtics on the verge of elimination, allowing New York to erase a 19-point second-half deficit and force an extra session, the scuffling Terry took over.
The Jet erupted for Boston’s final nine points of overtime, keeping the C’s alive with a 97-90 victory over the Knicks to force a Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first round series.
“As long as there is time left on the clock, and the chance for another game, there’s time for me to do something special,” said Terry. “I had every intention of somehow making an impact on this game. Whether it was scoring, rebounding or passing I was going to give everything I had to keep this year alive.”
Terry finished the day with 18 points, trailing just Paul Pierce and Jeff Green for the team-high, on a snazzy 7 of 10 shooting after scoring just a combined 23 points and taking one massive shot to the jaw in the Celtics’ three losses to the Knicks.
“Jet is a proven big-time performer in the big situations,” said Pierce. “Down the stretch he really opened up the game. That’s the way he’s been his whole career. And he has to continue to be the x-factor if we are going to be successful. That 3-pointer he hit in transition was huge.”