Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Magic barely hang on to beat Celtics

The Magic started out the game strong, leading at the end of one 25-21, thanks to 12 points and 10 rebounds from Dwight Howard. The Magic extended their lead to 47-39 at the half, and continued to build on their lead in the third quarter and had their largest lead of the game at 66-50 with under 4 minutes remaining in the third, then watched Boston go on a 12-2 run, before the quarter ended with a 70-62 Magic lead. The Magic then proceeded to have one of their worst fourth quarters of the season, as they shot a horrendous 3 of 17 from the field, and did not make a field goal in the last 6 minutes of the game, but still managed to beat Boston 84-82, as Paul Pierce's last-second three was well off the mark.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 24 points (11 of 18 field goals), 21 rebounds, 4 blocks
Rashard Lewis: 21 points (6 of 10 field goals)
Hedo Turkoglu: 13 points (3 of 18 field goals), 5 rebounds, 4 assists
Courtney Lee: 11 points (4 of 11 field goals)

Boston leading scorers:

Paul Pierce: 26 points, 7 rebounds
Ray Allen: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
Kendrick Perkins: 11 points, 11 rebounds

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: BOS 43.4% (33 of 76) ORL 37.0% (30 of 81)
3 PT FG%: ORL 40% (10 of 25) BOS 25% (4 of 16)
FT%: ORL 82.4% (14 of 17) BOS 80% (12 of 15)
REB: BOS 47 ORL 41
AST/TO: ORL 19/14 BOS 14/18
BENCH: BOS 16 ORL 9

Other game notes and stats:

-The Celtics' Kevin Garnett played 16 minutes, scoring 4 points with 8 rebounds
-Howard and Lewis combined to shoot 17 of 28 from the field for 45 points
-The rest of the Magic shot a horrid 13 of 53 for 39 points
-Mickael Pietrus and Anthony Johnson scored 5 and 4 points respectively off the bench, and were the only Magic reserves to score
-The Magic reserves combined to shoot 3 of 14 from the field
-Turkoglu and Rafer Alston combined to shoot 6 of 28 from the field
-Alston led the Magic with 6 assists
-The Magic were held to 14 fourth quarter points and 37 second half points

As WeRDevos' post underneath mine notes, ranking the best Magic seasons, this was the Magic's 53rd win of the year, with 11 games still remaining, making this the third most wins in a season for the Magic in their franchise history. The Magic also clinched the SE division title with the win, and tied the Celtics for the second seed in the East.

For the complete box score, click here

5 Comments:

  • At 4:42 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I'm happy that the Magic won, but the Magic are very fortunate. It's not too often that a team shoots 3 for 17 in the fourth quarter and can say they won the game.

    If the Magic don't start learning how to close out games in the fourth quarter, it's going to be very tough to advance far in the playoffs.

    Boston deserves credit for battling back after being down 16 in the third, despite Garnett playing only 16 minutes, and missing Leon Powe, Tony Allen, and Brian Scalabrine.

    Turk had an unsightly 3 for 18 shooting line, but his foul against Pierce in the final seconds (with the Magic having a foul to give) was a very smart play, and prevented the Celtics from getting a decent final shot off.

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I'm going to give hedo some major props for playing as good as you can play down the stretch against peirce,he was playing as hard as i've seen him play defensively and forced some misses by pierce late. Good job by turk and because we won i can excuse the bad shooting performance. I thought we obviously played pretty well for three quarters but seemed to stall in the fourth,slowly but surely were learning how to play 4 quarters of play-off basketball and having home-court advantage for the first two rounds would go a long way to winning more of those type of games.

     
  • At 9:55 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Howard's 8th 20-20 game of the year. Are 20-20 games as impressive as 50 point games for shooting guards? Just wondering.

     
  • At 1:19 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I had the opportunity of watching this game on TV although I had to get up at 4:30am. The first quarter was as good as I have seen Magic play but the fourth quarter was painful to watch. I was impressed with Rafer's play especially in the first quarter but there was a clear drop off when AJ was in, especially in the awful start of the fourth with the group on the floor which was the reason why our lead evaporated.

    Magic has a chance to advance to the East finals, and there as they match up well with CLE anything is possible. DET has dropped to 8th in the East and I think that is where they will end up since CHI is surging. Regardless, we need the home court advantage in the second round despite being the best road team of the league, and if that means that we have to go through DET, so be it. We have to get this monkey off our backs and where is a better place than the play-offs? A full force BOS is not easy to beat and we should garner all the help that we could get. The chances are good though because we only struggle with teams who have an active PF with good size. We, however, have to find a way to contain Paul Pierce. I can see inserting MP in a lot more just for that purpose.

    By the way, Hedo was awful not only in shooting but also being responsible for many TOs; I wonder how many? The stretch of the game in the fourth quarter when he and MP were the only offensive threats, he chalked up too many ill-advised shots. Once again not enough plays in the fourth quarter went through Dwight, and that needs to be corrected especially when we are up and time is our ally.

     
  • At 5:31 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Hey Matt, good hearing from you!

    In answer to your question, Turk had 3 turnovers against the Celtics, which tied Lewis for the most on the team. The Magic did win the turnover battle, as the Celtics had 18 turnovers (Pierce, Perkins, and Rondo each had 4) to the Magic's 14 turnovers. That proved to be to the Magic's benefit in such a close game.

    As you alluded to, the Magic bench did not play well. Pietrus had 5 pts, and Johnson had 4 pts; no other Magic reserve scored.

    For the most part, though, the Magic bench has played much better these last few months, and I trust the Celtic game was just a hiccup for them, and that the bench will continue to play well the rest of the way.

    I agree with what you said should the Magic wind up facing the Pistons in the first round. I am not actively hoping for a first-round matchup with the Pistons, but if it happens, it happens. The Magic are going to have to go through Boston and Cleveland if they hope to reach the NBA Finals, so what better way to prepare than a first round matchup with the Pistons, if indeed it does occur.

     

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