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Frustrated Celtics hope to channel their anger heading into Game 4

Posted by Baxter Holmes, Globe Staff  April 27, 2013 01:19 PM

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WALTHAM -- The locker room was quiet Friday night, Avery Bradley said.

"Everybody was real mad yesterday," the Celtics guard said before the team watched film of their Game 3 loss to the New York Knicks. "Nobody was saying anything."

There wasn't much to say. The Celtics embarrassed themselves and now sit in a 3-0 hole in the Eastern Conference first-round best-of-seven series -- a deficit from which no NBA team has ever recovered.

But the Celtics will try to, as the cliche goes, take it one game at a time beginning Sunday with Game 4 at TD Garden.

"They haven't won anything yet," Jeff Green said. "They've just won three games. The objective is to win four. So, we still have a chance to do that."

The Celtics' offense has been non-existent, as the team has scored fewer than 80 points in each of their three losses to the Knicks.

"I mean, something's gotta break," Jason Terry said. "I mean, you're not going to continue to just score 70 points every game. That's just crazy. I've played youth basketball, AAU, I mean, I've never scored this least amount of points."

Terry said "no comment" when asked about the elbow Knicks guard J.R. Smith threw that connected with Terry's face late in Game 3, earning Smith a Flagrant-2 foul and, thus, an ejection.

Terry did say he would be motivated by that elbow.

Said Doc Rivers: "Well, he should be, he’s the one who got hit. [Shoot], I’d be mad, too."

It has often been the case this season since Rajon Rondo went down that several Celtics have tried too hard to help the team win, forgoing team basketball along the way.

"It’s really important," Rivers said. "That may be the challenge for me tomorrow more than anything, because we do have the Jason Terrys on our team that want to win so bad that they may go into a game like, ‘I’m going to win this game tomorrow!’ Yeah, but it better be ‘we’ are going to win this game. That’s important, but it’s hard."

On that same subject, Rivers also said, "Offensively, we broke down on sets that we work on everyday. And so as a coach, you just keep pushing them to do it right. And it’s hard. Sometimes their pride is what gets in the way. Every single guy wants to win. They want to win so bad, they become an individual. I thought last night there was some of that as well."

But the Celtics definitely seem to be motivated by the show-boating that the Knicks were doing late in the game -- pointing at the crowd after big dunks, laughing, etc.

"Yeah, we did (sense it)," Bradley said. "That’s what made us so mad, so angry. We’ve just got to go out there and play the right way. We’ve got to not let that happen again."

"There was showboating going on out there a little bit, which I don't care for," Terry said.

"But, again, they have every right to do so. You're up 3-0. There's no pressure on them. They can pretty much come out here tomorrow and just show up and they think they've got it won."

The idea of being down 3-0 is a tough pill for the Celtics to swallow.

"It’s just frustrating that we’re down three (games)," Bradley said. "It’s just hard man. Three losses in a row. That’s just tough."

But that's where the Celtics stand, with Sunday's game possibly being their last this season.

"What we have to do," Green said, "is treat this game like it's the last game of everybody's career."

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