Game review: Magic (30-16) 96, Celtics (29-14) 94
The Magic, down by as many as 16 points early in the third quarter and 14 points early in the fourth quarter, never gave up and came through with a stunning come-from-behind victory over Boston thanks to Rashard Lewis's lay-in with 1.3 seconds remaining. The Celtics shot a better percentage from the field, the three point line, and the free throw line than the Magic, and had a much better assist/turnover ratio than the Magic. The Magic, though, had a huge rebounding advantage over the Celtics and were the more aggressive team, as evidenced by the fact they had more than twice as many free throw attempts than the Celtics.
Boston jumped on the Magic right away, as they shot 60% in the first quarter to lead 34-23 after one. Things didn't improve for the Magic in the second quarter, as they were only able to get as close as 6 points before the Celtics extended their lead to as much as 13 points before settling for a 51-40 halftime lead, as the Magic shot a woeful 33.3% from the field, including 1 of 10 from three point range.
The Celtics went on to their largest lead of the game at 56-40 with under 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Magic went on a 20-10 run to cut their deficit to 6 points, before the Celtics got their lead back up to double digits 72-61 after three. The Celtics had a 75-61 lead with 11;39 remaining before the Magic made their move with a rather unusual lineup: Jason Williams, J.J. Redick, Lewis, Marcin Gortat, and Dwight Howard. The Magic went on a 23-8 run took their first lead of the game at 84-83 at the 4:52 mark. For the final 5 minutes, the lead changed hands several times, with the Celtics taking a 94-91 lead with 51.5 seconds remaining. Redick then tied the game with a three pointer, and a Ray Allen missed three for the Celtics set up Lewis's heroics in the final seconds, as he got the ball on a busted play and found clear sailing for the winning lay-in. Rasheed Wallace's three point attempt at the buzzer was nothing but air.
Magic leading scorers
Rashard Lewis: 23 points (8 of 13 FGs, 2 of 3 3 PT FGs), 8 rebounds
Dwight Howard: 19 points (8 of 12 FGs, 3 of 10 FTs), 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals
Jameer Nelson: 12 points (5 of 10 FGs), 5 rebounds
J.J. Redick (bench): 11 points (2 of 7 FGs, 2 of 5 3 PT FGs)
Overall Game Statistics
FG%: BOS 47.3% (35 of 74) ORL 43.8% (32 of 73)
3 PT FG%: BOS 46.2% (12 of 26) ORL 30% (6 of 20)
FT%: BOS 66.7% (12 of 18) ORL 65% (26 of 40)
REB: ORL 47 (17 offensive) BOS 32 (6 offensive)
AST/TO: BOS 22/15 ORL 8/16
BENCH: BOS 41, ORL 31
Other game notes and stats:
-Five Celtics scored in double figures, led by Ray Allen with 20 points and Rasheed Wallace with 17 bench points; Rajon Rondo added 11 points and 8 assists
-The Celtics' Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were held to a combined 18 points on 5 of 20 shooting
-Rondo and Garnett each had 7 rebounds
-The Magic had only 1 assist in the first half, tying a franchise record-low for a half
-The Celtics outscored the Magic 82-70 from the field, but the Magic outscored the Celtics 26-12 from the free throw line to account for the victory
-The Magic starting frontline outscored the Celtics' starting frontline 47-22, and outrebounded them 24-12
-Gortat scored 6 points along with 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in nearly 27 minutes, while Williams contributed 8 points and 2 assists in 20 minutes
-The Magic made 12 of their final 15 field goals in the fourth quarter, and 7 of 9 free throws to outscore the Celtics 35-22 in the final quarter
-The Magic's Vince Carter struggled with 6 points on 2 of 13 shooting, but drew enough attention from Celtic defenders on Lewis's game-winning bucket that allowed Lewis to get to the basket unabated
-Lewis scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half
-Celtics' starting center Kendrick Perkins played just 15 minutes and had 5 fouls
-The Celtics' bench shot a combined 16 of 31 for the 41 points
Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com.