Game 1 ECF: Celtics 92, Magic 88... Celtics lead series 1-0
The Orlando Magic received a wakeup call Sunday afternoon as Boston led from start to finish and dominated the first three quarters, leading by as much as 20 points in the third quarter. The Celtics still led by 13 points with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter before a frantic Magic rally pulled them as close as 2 points in the final seconds, but the Celtics were able to answer and hold off the Magic. Ray Allen led all scorers with 25 points while Vince Carter led the Magic with 23 points.
The Magic had quite possibly their worst quarter of the season in the first quarter, as they shot just 4 of 20, including 0 for 3 from long range, and committed 4 turnovers. The Celtics were held to under 40% shooting, though, in the first but led 22-14 going into the second thanks to the ineptness of the Magic. The Celtics extended their lead in the second to as much as 31-16 and were able to maintain a double digit lead for most of the quarter. The Magic were able to cut their deficit to single digits 41-32 at the half.
The Magic started quickly in the second half, cutting the Boston lead to 43-40 thanks to 8 points in two minutes by Jameer Nelson. It was 45-42 Boston when the Celtics went on a 20-3 tear in 5:24 to extend their lead to 65-45 with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter. The Celtics went into the fourth quarter with a seemingly comfortable 74-58 lead. The Celtics led by as much as 77-60 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, and 88-75 with 5:34 remaining. The Celtics then went 5:22 without scoring as the Magic scored 10 points in a row to cut their deficit to 88-85 before Paul Pierce's two free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining. The Magic, trailing 90-85, then got a three point play the hard way as Vince Carter was fouled with 9.4 seconds remaining, made the first free throw, purposely missed the second with Nelson sneaking in for the tip to cut the Celtics' lead to 90-88 with 8.4 seconds remaining. Two Ray Allen free throws with 6.1 seconds remaining made it a two-possession game and effectively ended the Magic comeback attempt.
Magic leading scorers
Vince Carter: 23 points (9 of 18 FGs, 5 of 6 FTs), 5 rebounds
Jameer Nelson: 20 points (8 of 18 FGs, 2 of 7 3 PT FGs), 9 rebounds
Dwight Howard: 13 points (3 of 10 FGs, 7 of 12 FTs), 12 rebounds, 5 blocks, 7 turnovers
Overall Game Statistics
FG%: BOS 44.6% (33 of 74) ORL 41.6% (32 of 77)
3 PT FG%: BOS 42.9% (6 of 14) ORL 22.7% (5 of 22)
FT%: BOS 76.9% (20 of 26) ORL 73.1% (19 of 26)
REB: ORL 45 (15 offensive) BOS 38 (7 offensive)
AST/TO: BOS 21/16 ORL 10/18
BENCH: BOS 25 ORL 24
Other game notes and stats:
-The Celtics had three players in double figures, led by Ray Allen with 25 points on 8 of 16 shooting with 7 rebounds; Paul Pierce added 22 points on just 8 shots, shooting 6 for 8, including 2 of 3 on threes, and 8 of 10 from the free throw line with 9 rebounds; and Rasheed Wallace added 13 points off the bench
-The Celtics' Kevin Garnett added 8 points on just 4 of 14 shooting, but grabbed 11 rebounds, and PG Rajon Rondo scored 8 points with 8 assists
-J.J. Redick scored 9 points off the Magic bench to lead the reserves, while Marcin Gortat scored 6 points, all in the first half along with 5 rebounds
-The Magic starting frontcourt were held to a combined 6 of 24 shooting (Lewis and Barnes 3 of 14), including 0 for 7 on threes, for 21 points; The Celtics' starting frontcourt combined for 34 points
-Lewis (o for 6) and Magic reserve Mickael Pietrus (1 for 4) combined to shoot 1 for 10 on three pointers
-Matt Barnes, who had a sore back coming into the game, played just 15 1/2 minutes and scored just 2 points along with 3 rebounds
-During the Celtics' 20-3 run during the third quarter, the Magic were 1 of 7 on FGs, 1 of 4 on FTs with 4 turnovers during this span, while the Celtics shot 7 of 8 FGs and 4 of 4 on FTs
-When the Celtics went 5:22 without scoring late in the fourth quarter, they shot 0 for 5 FGs and 0 for 2 FTs with 3 turnovers, but the Magic shot just 4 of 10 during that span with 2 of 2 FTs
The Magic will try and pull even in the series Tuesday night.
Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com.
Here is an article from cbssports.com detailing how rusty the Magic were for much of Game 1, and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy's take on the game.