Celtics Struggle, Fall Flat at Home Against Assertive Magic

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November 20, 2009

Celtics Struggle, Fall Flat at Home Against Assertive Magic In a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference semifinals, the Magic outlasted the Celtics again 83-78 on Friday night.

Including the playoffs, that makes three straight wins in the series for Orlando and four wins in the Magic's last six games at TD Garden.

Boston was hurt early by a 13-point first quarter and killed itself late with dismal shooting. The Celtics made 2-of-19 3-pointers, including 1-of-13 in the second half.

Paul Pierce led the C's with 21 points. Ray Allen chipped in 15 and Kevin Garnett notched his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Magic 83, Celtics 78
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Nov. 20, 2009

Live Blog | Box Score | Recap

Headliner: Vince Carter had six turnovers and missed 19 shots but seemed to get a hoop each time the Magic needed one. When the Celtics cut an early 16-point lead nearly in half at the start of the second quarter, Carter scored twice to keep the lead in double digits. He had six points in a short span in the third to keep Boston at bay. And in the decisive fourth, Carter — who finished with a game-high 26 points — had a hook to make it 77-74 with 4:34 left and a turnaround with 2:33 to go to snap a 78-78 tie.

Unsung Hero:
Making his second start for Orlando in place of the injured Jameer Nelson, Jason Williams held his own against Rajon Rondo. Williams had seven points, six assists and a season-high four steals, including one in the game's final minute as the Magic clung to a four-point lead.

Rondo was limited to six points and six assists in 29-plus minutes.

Scrub: Kendrick Perkins single-handedly took himself out of this one when he lost his cool in the third quarter. Perkins, after picking up his fourth and fifth fouls early in the quarter, got in the face of an official and was handed a technical.

Perkins never got back in the game, finishing with five points and two rebounds.

Turning Point: It might be a stretch to call a Dwight Howard dunk just over three minutes into the game a big play, but it kicked off a 12-0 run and gave Orlando a lead it would hold for 42 minutes.

Up Next: A Sunday matinee in Madison Square Garden pits the Celtics against the lowly Knicks.

New York had lost six in a row before pulling off a 110-103 win in Indiana on Wednesday. Al Harrington and Larry Hughes combined for 48 points off the bench for the Knicks.

Despite rumors to the contrary, New York announced Friday that it would not sign free agent guard Allen Iverson.

Boston has won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the teams.

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