ECF Game 3: Celtics 94, Magic 71... Boston leads series 3-0
Boston dominated every facet of the game from start to finish as the Orlando Magic turned in an inexplicably abysmal performance in a game they had to win if they had any hopes of advancing to the NBA Finals; instead, the game was over after the third quarter as the Celtics had a staggering 28 point lead heading into the fourth. Six Celtics players scored between 10 and 17 points.
Boston jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, as the Magic did not score their first points until they were 3:43 into the game. The Magic then scored the next six points to make it 7-6, as it appeared they weathered the early Boston storm. The Celtics then surged ahead with a 14-0 run to go ahead 21-6, and had a solid 27-12 lead going into the second quarter, as the Magic shot a pitiful 4 of 17 in the first. The Celtics kept adding onto their lead in the second, with their largest lead of the half coming at 43-19 with 6:39 remaining. The Magic went on a brief 8-0 run to cut their deficit to 16 points and give their fans hope they had a big comeback left in them, but the Celtics quickly built their lead back up to 50-29. The Magic scored the last 5 points of the half, but still trailed big 51-34.
The closest the Magic came in the second half was when Rashard Lewis scored the first basket of the third quarter to make it 51-36. The Celtics then scored 5 points in a row to move their lead back up to 20 points, and led 62-43 halfway through the third. That was the last time the Magic were within 20 points as the Celtics outscored the Magic 13-4 the final six minutes of the third quarter and led by a stunning 75-47 going into the fourth. The Celtic's largest lead of the game was 85-53 with 8:13 remaining. Needless to say, the rest of the fourth quarter was garbage time for both teams, as the Magic wrapped up their worst offensive performance of the season on J.J. Redick's three pointer on their final possession.
Magic leading scorers
Jameer Nelson: 15 points (5 of 14 FGs, 3 of 9 3 PT FGs), 4 rebounds, 4 turnovers
Vince Carter: 15 points (5 of 12 FGs, 1 of 5 3 PT FGs), 5 rebounds, 2 steals
Mickael Pietrus (bench): 12 points (3 of 6 FGs, 2 of 5 3 PT FGs)
Overall Game Statistics
FG%: BOS 46.6% (34 of 73) ORL 36.9% (24 of 65)
3 PT FG%: BOS 54.5% (6 of 11) ORL 26.7% (8 of 30)
FT%: ORL 83.3% (15 of 18) BOS 71.4% (20 of 28)
REB: BOS 43 (7 offensive) ORL 36 (3 offensive)
AST/TO: BOS 23/9 ORL 10/17
BENCH: BOS 38 ORL 28
Other game notes and stats:
-Reserve Glen Davis led Boston with 17 points and 6 rebounds; Paul Pierce added 15 points; 9 rebounds, Ray Allen 14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists; Rajon Rondo 11 points, 12 assists, 4 steals; Kevin Garnett 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals; and reserve Rasheed Wallace 10 points, 4 rebounds
-The Magic starting frontline of Dwight Howard (7 points on 3 of 10 FGs), Rashard Lewis (4 points on 2 of 8 FGs), and Matt Barnes (2 points on 1 of 2 shooting) combined to score 13 points on 6 of 20 FGs with 13 rebounds
-The Celtics' starting frontline combined to score 31 points on 13 of 25 FGs with 21 rebounds and 5 steals
-Nelson and Carter combined to shoot 10 of 26 FGs
-Carter and Lewis combined to shoot 1 of 9 on three pointers
-Howard went to the free throw line just four times, making one
-Howard led the Magic with 7 rebounds and 3 blocks; reserve Marcin Gortat grabbed 6 boards
-Three different Magic players (Barnes, Carter, Redick) had 2 assists to lead the team
Game 4 will be Monday night in Boston, as the Magic try and avoid the sweep and will attempt to become the first NBA team to overcome a three games to none deficit in games in the playoffs.
Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com.