Magic hang on to beat Celtics
JNelson continiues his improving play, as he led the Magic with 24 pts, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. GHill added 18 pts, DHoward 17 pts 15 rebs, and TAriza led the reserves with 10 pts. The big two for BOS, Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak, scored 21 and 14 pts respectively, but combined to shoot just 11 of 31.
The Magic shot well again (38 of 71, 53.5%), outscoring BOS (31 of 81, 38.3%) from the field 76-69. However, the Magic was 0 for 8 on 3 pt FGs, while BOS was 7 of 14. BOS (20 of 28, 71.4%) had the edge at the FT line (ORL 16 of 25, 64%). The Magic outrebounded BOS 43-34. BOS had the better assist/turnover ratio of 22-11, compared to 17-15 for the Magic. At least the Magic have had two straight games of under 20 TOs. The Magic bench edged the BOS bench 26-25. Darko did well with 8 pts 4 rebs and 3 blocks in just 19 minutes.
The Magic are now 3-1 in games decided by 5 pts or less, compared to 10-14 all last season. The fact they can go on the road and win a close game after falling behind in the last few minutes is a very encouraging sign. The fact the Magic are 5-3 despite difficulties at times and less than perfect coaching at times is also encouraging. The Magic now have a stretch of 4 of 6 games at home, before embarking on a difficult 6 game road trip.