A New York Knicks comeback for the ages

Dennis Johnson, Boston Celtics. Ernie Grunfeld, New York Knicks. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Dennis Johnson, Boston Celtics. Ernie Grunfeld, New York Knicks. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks Head Coach Hubie Brown and Rory Sparrow. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Lightning Strikes

Ernie Grunfeld entered the game for Louis Orr and nailed a three-pointer to a sarcastic cheer from the MSG crowd. New York continued to chip away the remainder of the third quarter, closing the deficit to 10 points in six minutes. They got hot from the floor and the fans in attendance were hot for them.

Ewing came alive in the fourth with 19 points. Additionally, the Knicks defense under head coach Hubie Brown was stifling. And it was the guys off the bench who were taking it Boston’s vaunted team. With about five minutes left New York was still down by eight, 77-69.

But it was Orr who ignited the final run when he put back Rory Sparrow‘s second straight free throw miss, got fouled, and finished the “and one” to close the gap to five. The Garden was electric now. Fans were on their feet for the last several minutes cheering with as much effort as their team was putting in on the court.

A Ewing turnaround-j over Parrish, with 56 seconds left, took the margin down to two. Celtics Hall-of-Famer Dennis Johnson missed a jump shot then compounded his miss by fouling a hustling Rory Sparrow to send the Knicks guard to the line. This time Sparrow was money at the stripe.

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New York actually had a chance to win in regulation after they stripped McHale on the defensive end. Pat Cummings missed a long jumper on the way back and the game went into overtime. The first four minutes of overtime went just like the start of regulation. The Celtics jumped out to a 97-92 lead. And just like they did earlier, the Knicks came back.

Trent Tucker‘s three tied the game at 97 with 11 seconds to go as the Garden crowd went nuts. Both Danny Ainge and McHale missed their shots and the game went to double overtime. In the final period, the Knicks blew out their guests 16-7 to take home a 113-104 Miracle victory.

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Ewing led the team with 32 points; Sparrow (22), Gerald Wilkins (14), and Orr (10). While Ewing 11 boards, unheralded Ken Bannister‘s 14 rebounds in 22 minutes paced the New York Knicks.