Celtics Look to Contain Dwight Howard, Take Two-Game Series Lead in Orlando

Celtics Look to Contain Dwight Howard, Take Two-Game Series Lead in Orlando The Celtics have a lot to be proud of after beating the Orlando Magic 92-88 in Sunday's opening game of the Eastern Conference finals.

They hit their shots, defended well, and held their own against the colossal Dwight Howard.

But you can never get too comfortable against an Orlando team that has the inside-out dynamic and the deadly shooters to strike back in a hurry.

The Celtics have to keep the intensity up for Game 2 at Amway Arena.

When and Where

Celtics at Magic
Tuesday, May 18, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Amway Arena, Orlando, Fla.

Head to Head

Against the Magic with regular season and playoffs combined, the Celtics are still just 2-3. But the Celtics are one of the NBA's best road teams and they have won two of their three meetings in Orlando, including Sunday's Game 1. Perhaps home court isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Key Matchup

Kendrick Perkins vs. Dwight Howard
Perkins did a great job against Howard in Game 1 — he kept a body on him at all times, forcing him to work hard for every single point. But he has to keep it up. He can't let up now, because if he does, one of two things will happen. Either Howard will go crazy down low and pile up an easy 25-plus points with dunks and free throws, or he'll demand a double-team and free up his teammates on the perimeter for 3-pointers. Either way, the Celtics would be in trouble. It's up to Perk to keep the big man honest.

Starting Lineups

Celtics
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins

Magic
Point guard: Jameer Nelson
Shooting guard: Vince Carter
Small forward: Matt Barnes
Power forward: Rashard Lewis
Center: Dwight Howard

Stat Sheet

Celtics

  • Kevin Garnett had a team-high 11 rebounds in the Celtics' Game 1 win. It was his fifth double-digit rebound game of the postseason.
  • Rajon Rondo leads the NBA with 507 minutes played in this postseason. Ray Allen, with 447, is third.
  • Glen Davis has career averages of 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in the playoffs.

Magic

  • Dwight Howard had 13 points and 12 rebounds in Orlando's Game 1 loss. He has recorded four double-doubles in nine games this postseason.
  • Of the six players that have made more than 20 3-pointers in this postseason, three are Magic: Rashard Lewis (24), Mickael Pietrus (22) and Jameer Nelson (21).
  • Vince Carter has career postseason averages of 24.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.

Black and Blue

Celtics

  • Kendrick Perkins has battled knee soreness for much of this postseason, but he's played through it.

Magic

  • Matt Barnes is recovering from the back spasms that kept him out of Orlando's practice Saturday before Game 1.

Outlook

The objective for the Celtics in Game 2 is simple: Keep up the good work. The C's did a lot of things right in Game 1 against Orlando, including pushing Howard, as they forced him to work for everything. The C's also need to keep a close eye on Nelson, who could go off at any moment. It's a lot of work, but if the Celtics can keep Orlando's many weapons under control, they could be on their way to a 2-0 series lead and a happy trip back to Boston.

Yardbarker

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