Celts outlast Nuggets 118-114 in 3OT Classic

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

In what was likely the game of the year, the Celtics ended the Nuggets' nine-game winning streak and extended their own to seven.

The two hottest teams in the NBA collided at the TD Garden on Sunday night and the result was one of the best regular season contests you'll see all year. In the end, in an absolute classic, the Celtics won their seventh straight game while ending the Denver Nuggets' nine-game win streak with a 118-114, triple OT victory. It was the Celtics' first triple OT game since Game 6 of the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs against the Chicago Bulls.

Paul Pierce tied the game with a long three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the second extra session and the Celts got a huge defensive play from Jason Terry near the end of the third OT to seal it.

Pierce led the Celts with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists in 54 minutes while Kevin Garnett finished with 20 points and 18 boards in 47 minutes, hitting three big shots in the third overtime. Terry played his best game of the year, finishing with a season-high 26 points and hitting five three-point shots while Jeff Green, who sent the game to a second OT with a big three at the 23.8 second mark of the first OT, winding up with 17 points for the game.

The Celtics led throughout, extending their advantage to double digits on multiple occasions. But the Nuggets wouldn't go away despite being on the second night of a back-to-back, taking their first lead of the game with 1:43 left in regulation. Ty Lawson led the way for the Nuggets with 29 points on 13-of-22 shooting, sending the game to OT with a layup with just 0.8 seconds left.

The Celtics went cold from the floor after the half, hitting for just over 30 percent in the final 39 minutes. But Garnett, who rested for the first two minutes of the second half, got hot when it mattered in the third extra frame to lead the Celts to the win.

Denver also got big games from Andre Miller (15 points, six assists), Danilo Gallinari (18 points, 10 boards) and big men Kenneth Faried (14 points, 12 boards) and JaVale McGee (16 boards, three blocks), outrebounding the Celts and doubling them up in points in the paint. For more on this incredible game from the Nuggets' perspective, check out Denver Stiffs.

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