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.

Friday, January 29, 2010

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

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.


  • At 5:45 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Wow... that's what I call a fantastic finish!

    What resolve shown by the Magic after being down 14 points early in the fourth quarter.

    The Magic were due to hit some shots in the second half; they had plenty of open looks in the first half which they missed, while Boston was making their open shots, especially the threes.

    It took until the 4th quarter for the Magic to start hitting their shots, and wow, did they ever start hitting them... they made 12 of their last 15 shots!

    It took until the 4th quarter for D12 to come alive offensively, and what a show he put on; combining the Magic's hot shooting with Howard's dominance in that final quarter, the Magic could not be stopped.

    Credit to Coach Van Gundy for sticking with the rather unusual lineup in the fourth quarter that enabled the Magic to go on their big run.

    With Gortat playing so well at PF next to D12, it may be a while before we see Brandon Bass see meaningful playing time.

    Hopefully at the end of the season, we can look back at this game and say that it was a turning point for the Magic's season.

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Obviously i wasnt very pleased with the first half. I thought starting off the game with the ball in VC's hands didnt work at all last night,SVG to me didnt have a good coaching first half at all. I also thought he could have drawn up something better to get our offense going early. But everything's all good seeing as how adjustments were made in-game,SVG found something that worked in the second half and milked it. The magic won that game because they actually started to play as a team and not a bunch of individual's,1 assist at the first half wont cut it against anyone. They moved the ball much better late which helped the scoring and finally got us some open shots against a celtic defense we've rarely been able to figure out. Moving the ball and being able to score ignited the defense,the magic dominated the paint offensively and defensively so much in that fourth period that the celtics got no more lay-ups. Big baby got his shit stuffed 3 or 4 times on sure lay-ups,but dwight & marcin were'nt havin it! When the magic can score their defense becomes real stingy. Thank the lord for JJ's big three because without that rashard never gets a chance to become the hero.

  • At 1:17 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Call me greedy, if you will, but I am not happy with the Magic as a team. 'Consistency' is the keyword. Magic looked awful in the first three quarters (OK, less awful in the third) but then came alive in the fourth. That is the problem when they are playing with inferior teams, as well allowing them to stick around. That is not the sign of an elite team.

    Going back to what I have mentioned before, Vince is the one who is killing us, and that is a waste of his talent and works negatively to our results. The team played better in the fourth because J.J. and not Vince was in the game. Once again, it is obvious that Vince is hurting and should be rested until he is fully healed. That is imperative to our success down the road while J.J. could fill in nicely for the time being.

    What Happened to MP? He is a shadow of what he used to be. How many minutes did he have in the game last night? Very few, I remember. We cannot go far if he doesn't play to his potential since he is our best perimeter defender. Obviously after losing his starting job to Matt he has regressed quite a bit. He needs encouragement, and should be given equal minutes compared to Matt to stay engaged.

    Playing Dwight and Marcin together was a gamble which worked out this time in terms of plugging the middle. Marcin cannot defend mobile PFs like Gasol, Odom on the perimeter. It worked last night because BOS's outside shots - all of a sudden - was not falling in the second half and they fell in the trap of taking the balls in where Dwight and Marcin were waiting for them. It did not work against MEM becuase Randolph is a crafty shot maker from inside and outside.

    Credit to SVG using Jason instead of Jameer, late in the game. One assist in the first half, and that did not belong to Jameer? He was taking the ball aggressively to the basket, but that is fools gold for all PGs. Jason picked up the tempo and created shots for Rashard and J.J.

  • At 5:59 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Just wanted to drop in to clear up a point. A win against a team which competes with us in standing is different than just a win against any other team becuase it actually counts as one full game as opposed to a 1/2 game against non-competing teams.

  • At 6:49 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, in answer to your question, Mickael Pietrus played 7 minutes against Boston and scored 2 points on 1 of 2 shooting along with 2 rebounds.

    I agree that he's going to have to pick up his game the final 2 1/2 months heading into the playoffs. The scoring, defense, and energy he provided off the bench in the playoffs last season was huge, and obviously he is nowhere near that level now.

  • At 6:57 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I posted the old-school Magic logo in my recap because of the Magic wearing their throwback black pinstripe jerseys from the franchise's early years.

    I did question Van Gundy's move in bringing Carter in the game the last few minutes after he sat for so long, especially when he missed a shot and turned the ball over just after he came in.

    It all worked out well, though, as Boston had their defenders all over him that final play which allowed Rashard to get the ball from J.J. and drive for the winning basket.

    What a second half from Rashard also, with 16 of his 23 points.

    The Magic are just 1/2 game behind Boston now in the Eastern Conference standings, pending the Celtics' game with Atlanta.

  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger Matt said…


    May be I was not clear enough but, based on your response, you have obviously missed my points:

    1 - I have not questioned Coach Van Gundy's decision with putting Vince in towards the end of the game; I understand and agree with his stated logic. My point is that Vince should be rested until he is fully healed, PERIOD.

    2 - As for Mickael Pietrus, I am supporting matching his minutes with that of Matt Barnes. As much as I like Matt's game, I tend to believe that we cannot afford to lose MP's game at his full potential. I was on the fence with regard to starting Matt instead of MP. MP is obviously a better shooter and defender. Therefore, it would be wise of Coach Van Gundy to keep both of them happy and fully committed.

  • At 12:57 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, my opinion about Van Gundy's decision putting in Carter near the end of the game didn't have anything to do what you stated on your previous post. I know that you didn't question Van Gundy there; I did, though, and I'm happy I was proven wrong.

    I'm glad the All-Star Break is coming up in a few weeks; it should do wonders for Vince in healing up, since I don't believe the Magic have any plans in resting him before then, although I think they should, also.

    As far as Pietrus goes, with Matt Barnes playing around 30 minutes a game, there's no way that Pietrus matches that many minutes coming off the bench. Pietrus does need to play more than the 7 minutes he played against the Celtics, though, if he is to become the force off the bench that he was in last season's playoffs.

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Matt said…


    You still didn't get, did you?

    1 - Let it be clear, as has always been the case with me, that I don't care what Magic will or will not do. I don't work FOR the Magic or write FOR the Magic. I state what is best for the team.

    2 - My opinion of resting Vince is for as long as it takes until he is fully healed, not just for the All-Star break. Stating that the All-Star break will do "wonder" for him is simply an exaggeration that lacks logic.

    3 - Your point about not matching Barnes and Pietrus's minutes is based on the premises of Barnes playing 30 minutes right now, which is the wrong premises to start with. I am suggesting that the sum of minutes between the two players be divided equally, or thereabout. I will go as far as, if we we need to get the right Pietrus back - not this impostor in his place - I am even for giving his starting position back. Magic's record with Barnes as a starter is not so great. Pietrus's superior shooting and defense may just help to give Magic a faster start in putting inferior teams away early on, or forcing better team to catch-up (case point: the game in Boston v. the last game in Orlando).

  • At 4:08 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Three things. (1)MP is not our best perimeter defender. Not this year or last year. He did a great job off the bench last year offensively and defensively but our best perimeter defender he is not. last year that was CLee and this year its been matt barnes. Defense is the primary reason MP lost his starting job,SVG can deal with missed shots (ala VC who has been ok defensively i might add)but not playing defense will get you a permanent spot on the bench. Mp is a more consistent shooter,but right now we dont need a consistent "bad shot taker" at SF which is another reason MB is in the starting line-up. SVG was quoted as saying "we need matt's energy out there on the floor,he's the only player we have with his skill set. You dont have to run a play for him and he finds ways to score,and at the same time his defense has been great. He'll continue to start."-end quote. MB had a 16 rebound game and gets physical under the hoop,pound-for-pound our toughest/best defender on the team. (2)Punkin Paul Pierce. I forgot to mention one of the most important things about this game against the celts. Paul pierce over the years had his way offensively with our small forward position,i complained many times about how he seemed to punk hedo on a regular basis. Hedo played such a finesse game that he never got physical with paul and mentally paul always had an edge about his game against us. Well not anymore,enter matt barnes. MB's sole purpose is to rough people up and play defense which is something we've never had at the small forward position. Early in the second quarter MB showed PP exactly what im talking about,no longer will you be able to comfortably abuse our SF position. MB pushed PP in the back real hard under the rim just beating him up,refs didnt see it. PP fouled dwight kinda hard the next play and as soon as the play was over PP turned around and looked for MB and he was right there not backing down (thats when they went toe-to-toe)to me MB sent a message right then "this magic team is different". I smiled and thought,finally a tough guy-someone who wont get punked. PP went on to have a horrible shooting game thanks to MB's play and physicality. Matt is a true defensive small forward that has a well rounded game,he might not be a great shooter but his rebounding,assists and energy are worth him staying in the starting line-up. (3)MP's Funk. Mp is suffering from not being able to find a place on this team. Last year he was the back-up at SG first off the bench,well this year thats JJ and MP's been slid over to the three. Mp's not a three,he's a SG. SVG has lately been going with VC and rashard more as back-up three's and lets JJ finish games as the SG. MP is going to have to take better shots first and fore-most and not always settle for jumpers,if he was driving the ball to the basket and being effective on the offensive end dont you think he would play more? The answer is he would. The key for MP is shot selection and learning how to expand his game if he's gonna be a three or if he just simply wants to get on the floor,rebounds and assists help the team just as much as shooting the ball and SF's on this team have to be able to play tough and be solid on the glass. MP isnt doing either right now and to be honest he's a "shooting" shooting guard that can be pretty good defensively with his feet,but isnt considered a tough guy what-so-ever.

  • At 5:13 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure:

    I tend to differ with you. Last year MP was the guy who was defending whomever at SF or SG position. Courtney was not big or strong enough to guard the likes of LeBron although he was pretty good at SGs defence. But let's assume that you are correct for this year. Leadership is all about using all your assets the best that you can. Magic cannot afford to have MP at less than his full potential, in my view, even if you consider him the second best perimeter defender. That is why I reiterate my point that the sum of minutes between him and MB should be equally divided. Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, Magic's record with MB as a starter is not that good. May be we need that extra better shooter to spread the floor more for Dwight so that we could establish our dominance early on. As I mentioned, that could be the reason that we are not gaining on inferior opponents early on, or fall behind against better teams since they leave MB open, and pack in (case point: last BOS's game). MB, however, can come in later to defend the advantage established.

  • At 5:44 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Im with SVG on this one matt,so much so that i can make the arguement of not playing MP at all (which he pretty much did against boston). Matt right now i wouldnt even count MP as the #2 defender,that nod would go to JJ. I think last years performance against lebron and the cavs has made you think way to highly of MP,i like mp but his style of defense is very similar to hedo's. Finesse. And go back and look at the stats and games we're talking about,Mp didnt do that great a job of stopping anyone from scoring he just basically tired lebron/players out from always being there. Matt barnes on the other hand and even JJ this year are playing tough enough that opposing guards arent lighting them up statistically,both have crafty hands that create steals and annoy scorers which mp just hasnt shown much of that ability ever. I'm no where near as high on his defense as you are and im kinda wondering what you consider defense. Just watch MP,rarely does he move his hands defensively because he's usually trying to cover the eyes of the shooter. Then watch matt barnes,hands very active always movin and giving the offensive player something to think about. Thats defense. Should they play equal minutes? No way! Matt has earned his minutes (around 30) with his statistical output and close to triple double numbers some nights,JJ has earned his minutes this year too and we have plenty of fire power to boot without MP. Against boston we basically used JJ and marcin down the stretch for a struggling VC and rashard who was playing the three. That line-up works so well that MP trying to figure out how to play the three is the last of my worries. VC and JJ are our shooting guards and MB is the only true SF on the roster,if MP wants some minutes behind MB he better pick up all area's of his game. Like i said,i think SVG is doing whats right when it comes to MP. Matt,Vince and rashard are all doing a better job at SF.

  • At 5:55 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    When it comes to VC,his non shooting shoulder is the one in question. He wont sit because of something like that,the pain is tolerable. It also doesnt effect his shooting so forget the "sit VC talk" guys,it aint gonna happen unless further injury to the shoulder occurs. in the mean time, VC just needs to let the game come to him and if we play through dwight he'll get easy shots and play well. His shots will be down but much more effective/efficient. VC going one-on-one or jacking jumpers hasnt worked well for him this year,he needs to use his teammates and use the fourth period as his time to shine. Kobe had to realize this when shaq left and because of that usually plays a very pedestrian game until late then takes over,i wonder why a guy like VC being an 8 time all-star cant figure that out.

  • At 5:57 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, regardless of whether you think that I "don't get it", I'm still entitled to give my opinion on what I think about the Magic, and what they might or might not do. That's what this blog is for. You're free to give your opinion and to disagree with me, which you just about always do, but that doesn't bother me; again, that's what the blog is for, to promote discussion and differing opinions about the Magic and the organization.

    I'm just trying to be optimistic regarding Vince Carter, when I said that the All-Star Break should do wonders for him. Of course, that's an exaggerated statement with no logic like you said, but I'm just trying to stay positive regarding Vince. I'm an optimist by nature anyhow.

  • At 6:01 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    The all-star break will do wonder's mike,but those "wonder's" will benefit every hurt/acheing player in the league. VC will get time to not get hit on that shoulder which is a good thing.

  • At 7:12 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    That's why I'm confident we'll see a much more effective Vince Carter offensively after the All-Star Break.


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