“Brandon Bass” and “defensive stopper” are not often heard in the same sentence. His skill on that end of the floor was not the reason the Celtics jettisoned Glen Davis and Von Wafer for him via a trade, and his body of work throughout an entire season won’t land him in the top echelon of defenders in the NBA.

For one series though, particularly in yesterday’s do-or-die game, he did his best to make Carmelo Anthony’s much more difficult in the 97-90 overtime victory at the Garden to extend the Celtics’ playoff life.

“We won the game because of him,” Avery Bradley said of Bass’ defense for 31 minutes before fouling out in the fourth quarter. “All credit to him.”

Coach Doc Rivers made the switch back to a bigger lineup to get Bass matched up against Anthony, allowing Jeff Green and Paul Pierce to focus more on igniting a stagnant offensive attack. Anthony finished with 36 points, but it came with a 10-for-35 effort from the floor (28.5 percent).

Turning Anthony into a volume shooter and not a volume scorer is the key for the Celtics, and Bass solidly filled that role.

“He was the star of the game, as far as I’m concerned,” Rivers said. “He just defended, and did it over and over and over again. There’s a lot of guys that you want to defend. I don’t know if Carmelo would be the one you would pick. And for Brandon to do that, basically the entire game until he fouled out was terrific for us. We needed that one guy to be able to do that.”

Bass’ strength on offense is his mid-range shooting. He can give you hustle plays on the offensive glass and isn’t afraid of the rough stuff down low despite his 6-foot-8-inch frame. But his defense certainly wasn’t something that jumped out when he first showed up to this defensive-oriented bunch.