BOSTON -- Jeff Green was right.
After Boston dropped Game 3 of its first-round playoff series with the New York Knicks on Friday night and faced a 3-0 deficit, the Celtics forward said, "They haven't won it yet."
Now, there has been a Game 4 and the Knicks still haven't won it yet.
No NBA team has ever come back from three games down to win a seven-game series, but the Celtics took the first step on Sunday with a 97-90 overtime victory that sends the series back to New York for Wednesday's Game 5.
Veteran guard Jason Terry, who had been quiet in the series, scored nine straight points in the overtime, Paul Pierce finished with 29 and Green had 26 as the Celtics avoided what would have been the seventh sweep in 112 playoff series.
Terry, who doubled his point total in the extra five minutes, broke an 88-88 tie with a 3-pointer with 1:32 left and then continued to put the game away, Boston came out on top despite blowing a 20-point third-quarter lead.
Carmelo Anthony, suffering through a miserable shooting game that saw him go 10 of 35 from the floor and 0 of 7 from 3-point range, still managed 36 points (16 of 20 from the line with some big misses) and Raymond Felton had 27.
Down 20, the Knicks, playing without suspended J.R. Smith, roared from behind and actually led by two late in regulation.
Using a four-guard offense with Anthony on the bench with four fouls, the Knicks went from 20 down with 9:25 left in the third quarter to tying the score with 7:18 left in the game, with Felton and Iman Shumpert (12 points, 12 rebounds) leading the way.
Kevin Garnett added 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Celtics and Pierce had eight rebounds and six assists. Boston won despite getting only three offensive rebounds, compared with the Knicks' 16.
The score was tied 5-5 after a Felton 3-point 1:13 in, but the Celtics then ran off nine straight points to take early control of the game.
Boston led by five after the first quarter, but another 9-0 burst ballooned the lead to 14. It was 33-19 when Anthony scored six straight points and the margin was seven after an impressive Alley Oop from Felton to Tyson Chandler with 5:47 left. But the Celtics outscored the Knicks 19-7 the rest of the half, including 12-3 in the final 1:42, to lead by 19 at the break.
The Knicks were 11 of 38 from the floor in the half and 2 of 10 from 3-point range. The Celtics were 20 of 39 and 5 of 13.
The second halves of the first three games weren't exactly kind to the Celtics, who had 25 and 23 points in the second half of Games 1 and 2 and then had 45 in Game 3, which the Knicks won easily.
On Sunday, the Celtics led by 20 2:35 into the third quarter and were up by 14 when Anthony went to the bench with four fouls. The visitors reeled off a 14-3 run through the end of the quarter, 11 of the points by Felton, including a fast-break 3-pointer with two-tenths of a second left in the quarter.
NOTES: The Knicks have won 19 of their last 22 games, and the Celtics won for only the sixth time in their last 20. ... New York had won the last six games between the two rivals. ... Coming into this season, 103 NBA teams led seven-game series by a 3-0 count, all prevailing. Only the 1951 Knicks, the 1994 Denver Nuggets and 2003 Portland Trail Blazers rallied to force a Game 7, but none of them could finish the deal. ... Hours before the game, a fire alarm forced the evacuation (fans had yet to arrive) of TD Garden, but there was no problem inside. ... A this day in history note: On April 28, 1958, future Knicks championship coach Red Holzman was added to Fuzzy Levane staff in New York. ... Spotted in the crowd was former Celtics great K.C. Jones. ... Knicks coach Mike Woodson had a first-half technical foul. ... Game 6, if necessary, is Friday night in Boston.