Jameer Nelson Hits Two Huge 3s, Magic Beat Celtics in Overtime to Stay Alive


May 24, 2010

Jameer Nelson Hits Two Huge 3s, Magic Beat Celtics in Overtime to Stay Alive

Final: Magic 96, Celtics 92. The Magic hold on, getting two big stops late and watching Glen Davis launch a hopeless 3-point attempt as time expires. The Magic survive Game 4, and we're headed back to Amway Arena in Orlando for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Dwight Howard finishes with an unbelievable 32 points and 16 rebounds, and the Magic get two huge 3s late from Jameer Nelson to seal the win. They worked hard to keep their season alive, and they prevailed.

Paul Pierce finishes with 32 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. It's not enough.

Overtime, 52.7 seconds, Magic 96-92: Another big rebound and another big putback for Dwight Howard. The Celtics are struggling a bit defensively with Glen Davis down low against Howard. The Magic center now has 32 points on 13-of-19 shooting, and 16 rebounds.

Again, the Celtics are in desperate need of a big shot.

Overtime, 1:13, Magic 94-92: Ray Allen simply refuses to quit. Another 3, his fifth of the night, and it's once again a one-possession game.

And once again, Stan Van Gundy needs a timeout.

How many more big shots does Ray have left in him? The Celtics could really use one or two more…

Overtime, 1:30, Magic 94-89: Superman makes a super play here, getting his own rebound on a missed layup and following through, getting the basket and a Glen Davis foul. The Magic are back to a five-point lead. 

Overtime, 1:46, Magic 92-89: The C's aren't done yet. Jameer Nelson can hit 3s? So can Ray Allen. The lead's back to three, and the game's far from over.

Overtime, 1:59, Magic 92-86: The drought is over, as Jameer Nelson has hit two 3s in a row. Two huge nails hammered into the Boston coffin.

The Celtics are now in big, big, big trouble. They're down six with under two minutes to play. They need to score, and fast.

Overtime, 3:23, 86-86: You're now looking at a scoring drought of nearly three minutes — for both teams. These teams know how to step up and play amazing defense when it matters.

End of fourth quarter, 86-86: Regulation time ends with Kevin Garnett and Jameer Nelson lying on the floor, tangled up over a loose ball. Neither side is able to score in the final 24.3 seconds, and we're headed for overtime in Boston.

Fourth quarter, 24.3 seconds, 86-86: The two teams trade stops, with Rondo getting a steal off of a KG deflection but Orlando getting it back when Rashard Lewis grabs hold of a Pierce miss.

Orlando will get the ball back for possibly the final possession. Stan Van Gundy has called a timeout to map out a play.

Fourth quarter, 1:16, 86-86: Two words for you: And One.

Pierce drives the lane, he gets off a shot, he draws a blocking foul from Jameer Nelson. The Celtics' captain is money from the free-throw line, and we are all tied up at 86.

Incredible. The Celtics have come all the way back.

Fourth quarter, 1:41, Magic 85-82: Two huge jumpers, one from Paul Pierce and one by Ray Allen, and just like that, it's anyone's game.

An incredible turnaround for the Celtics, and it gets a panicked timeout call out of Stan Van Gundy.

The Celtics are alive, and so is their crowd. What a difference one minute makes.

Fourth quarter, 2:24, Magic 85-78: Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard pull off a huge alley-oop, with Howard finishing and drawing a foul from Glen Davis. Three-point play, and the crowd at the Garden goes silent.

The C's are in trouble now. They need Rondo to come to life, and fast.

Fourth quarter, 3:34, Magic 81-78: Jameer Nelson puts the Magic out in front by drilling a 3, but Paul Pierce teaches him a lesson about trying another one. Emphatic block to keep the C's within three points.

Boston remains a step behind, but if Pierce and the still-quiet Rondo can get a bucket or two inside down the stretch, this game is certainly not over.

Fourth quarter, 5:06, 76-76: The Magic are just going to keep riding the offense of two guys: Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick.

Even if no one else finds his shot for Orlando, those two guys could be enough for the Magic to get it done. Between Howard demanding attention down low and Redick getting himself open looks from the perimeter, this two-pronged attack looks really hard to stop.

Fourth quarter, 6:16, 74-74: Just another huge fourth quarter for Glen Davis. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Another big bucket for Big Baby, and a huge play defensively to block a layup attempt from Rashard Lewis and get the ball back. The C's have a chance to reclaim the lead right now, thanks to the energy that Baby's given them off the bench.

Fourth quarter, 7:35, Magic 74-72: Vince Carter has played 20 minutes, scored three points and committed four fouls. And you know, it's not like this is the biggest game of his life or anything.

Glen Davis makes a huge hustle play to get across the paint and cut off Vince Carter on a drive to the basket, taking a charge. The Celtics continue to keep this a one-possession game. If Rondo can come alive and make a couple of plays on the offensive end, the C's could be on the verge of the Finals.

Fourth quarter, 8:18, Magic 74-70: J.J. Redick has the Magic's last 10 points. Anyone see that coming? No? Me either.

Redick's been one of the hotter shooters in this series, and the Magic need him here to keep their season alive. He's got to maintain that hot hand for another eight minutes.

Fourth quarter, 8:53, Magic 71-70: The Magic know they can't make any mistakes with the basketball — every turnover is going to lead to a fast break and a basket for either Tony Allen or Rajon Rondo.

Rondo gets a transition layup here to cut the Orlando lead to one. The Celtics aren't going to die quietly. 

Fourth quarter, 10:31, Magic 70-68: Now it's Rasheed Wallace's turn to get tangled up with Dwight Howard, overreact, and get called for a technical.

The C's really need to avoid getting rattled in crunch time. Things do not look good for them at the moment.

End of third quarter, Celtics 68-67: The last time the Celtics led this game, we were just minutes into the first quarter and it was 5-4 Boston. But now, the C's are back in front.

The Celtics are doing a couple of things right on offense: They're moving the ball well, for starters, and they also haven't been afraid to drive the lane against Marcin Gortat, the man in the middle while Dwight Howard sits with four fouls.

The Magic have been playing with their second unit for the last four minutes, and it hasn't worked for them. They're scoreless since the 4:01 mark in the third quarter.

Third quarter, 3:38, Magic 67-62: Paul Pierce knocks down a 3 to make it a one-possession game, but J.J. Redick quickly answers with a 3 of his own.

The Celtics are going to need to maintain their hot shooting to have a chance in this thing. The real Dwight Howard has come to life, denying the Celtics anything in the paint. The C's are forced to try to win this game from the perimeter.

It also doesn't help the Celtics' cause that Rajon Rondo has four fouls. Something to be mindful of.

Third quarter, 6:58, Magic 58-55: Immediately after the KG technical, the Celtics get fired up and go on an inspired 6-0 run. They're back in this thing, and so is their crowd.

Pierce, Allen and Garnett each get a nice look for the Celtics, bringing them back into this game. The usual Rondo energy hasn't really been there, but the Celtics' Big Three have been hitting just enough shots to keep things close.

The hard fouls just keep coming from Dwight Howard, by the way. Superman's in a bad mood.

Third quarter, 9:22, Magic 56-49: Things turn ugly for the Celtics early in the third quarter, as Kevin Garnett takes a Dwight Howard jab to the eye and comes out swinging at Orlando's Superman. It's a technical foul for KG.

Matt Barnes only further antagonizes Garnett, putting both hands on him in an effort to keep him off of Howard. Garnett shoves Barnes' hands away, repeatedly, but the refs have time to intervene and keep things from escalating.

The Celtics need to keep their focus. They're down seven in the third quarter, and they have no time to get caught up in this drama.

Halftime, Magic 51-47: Both Rajon Rondo, the Celtics' starting point guard, and Tony Allen, his de facto backup, have three fouls. That can't be good for the Celtics.

Rondo dashed to the locker room with a minute still to play in the half, a towel over his head. You have to wonder if everything's OK with the Celtics' youngster physically.

Rondo finishes the half with five points and four assists. He's been decent in spots, but he hasn't been the explosive force he was in Game 3.

The Magic have the lead at halftime, led by 17 points and five boards from the big man, Dwight Howard. The Celtics have some work to do.

Second quarter, 3:33, Magic 43-39: If not for the outstanding shooting of Paul Pierce in this first half, things could be a lot worse for the Celtics.

Pierce is shooting 6-of-7 from the field for a whopping 17 points. He's found his sweet spot on the elbow, and neither Vince Carter nor Matt Barnes has been able to keep him from knocking down that shot.

The Celtics are down four, but it could easily be double digits without the captain's offense. Given the way the rest of the team has played tonight, he might have to keep it up.

Second quarter, 6:13, Magic 40-32: We've seen a complete role reversal for the two power forwards in this series.

Rashard Lewis, who was a complete non-factor in the first three games of this series, has turned it on in Game 4 to the tune of 3-of-4 shooting and eight early points. Meanwhile Kevin Garnett, aggressive as all get out in Games 1 through 3, didn't attempt a field goal until the 8:41 mark in the second quarter.

It's Orlando's two bigs, Lewis and Dwight Howard, that have carried them to an eight-point lead early. The Celtics are still looking a little flat.

Second quarter, 9:07, Magic 34-28: This is the earliest we've seen Nate Robinson enter a game in a long, long time. Interesting coaching ploy from Doc Rivers to open the second quarter.

Doc has said for a while that there will be a chance in these playoffs for Nate to emerge as an X-factor. At one point, he said the kid would win him a playoff game.

Maybe this could be that game. The Celtics could use a jolt right now from an explosive bench scorer, and Nate absolutely has the potential to be that guy.

End of first quarter, Magic 32-26: All right, Celtics fans. Time to wake up and face reality: This won't be easy.

The Magic finish the first quarter shooting 63.2 percent from the floor, and piling up six assists versus only two turnovers. They're taking care of the ball, they're moving it well, and they're finishing with good, high-percentage shots.

This is the Magic team that won 59 games and started the Eastern Conference playoffs 8-0. If you were wondering where those guys went, you can put that question to bed. The magic is back for the Magic.

First quarter, 3:17, Magic 23-15: Would you believe that this is the first eight-point lead the Magic have had in this whole series?

Because it is. The Magic are shooting a ridiculous 10-of-16 from the field as a team, and they've gotten a game-high eight points out of …

Wait a minute. Matt Barnes?


OK, Matt Barnes.

Just goes to show that you can't leave anyone open against this Orlando offense. Everyone, even the so-called "defensive stopper," has ability to blow you away from the perimeter.

First quarter, 6:11, Magic 14-12: There are two different kinds of "down 0-3 mentality" — there's the defeated kind, and there's the, "We sure as heck can't let our season end tonight" kind. Orlando looks like the latter.

All the hustle plays that weren't there in Game 3 are working again for the again for the Magic in Game 4. They're leaping for 50-50 balls, they're going after every play with everything they've got, and they're finishing every possession with an open jumper or a dunk for Dwight Howard.

Where was this Magic team in the first three games?

First quarter, 9:15, Magic 7-5: It's obviously still very, very early, but so far this doesn't look like the same Celtics team we saw in Games 1 through 3.

The C's are leaving Orlando's shooters wide open for 3s, which they never did in the first three games. Also offensively, they're doing a poor job taking care of the ball and looking tentative with their ball movement.

It's going to take focused, consistent effort on both ends for the Celtics to pull this one out. The Magic won't die quietly.

8 p.m.: We're minutes away from the Celtics and Magic doing battle with a possible Finals berth at stake, but all the pregame talk has been about the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Both head coaches, Stan Van Gundy and Doc Rivers, voiced their support for Brown before tonight's Game 4. "I don't know what you have to do to keep your job," Rivers said of Brown, who's won 60-plus games in back-to-back seasons.

All this Cavs talk never goes away. Whether it's LeBron James, or Brown, or God knows who else, the only way to silence it is take the floor and win.

If the Celtics take care of business tonight, maybe someone will talk about them.

7:45 a.m.: Late Saturday night, after the Orlando Magic had been blown out in Game 3 by the host Celtics on the TD Garden floor, someone asked Jason Williams where he expected to be after three games in this series.

"Definitely not 0-3," he answered. "I expected us to be up 3-0."

How could he expect anything less? The Magic absolutely destroyed opponents in the first two rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs, blowing past Charlotte and Atlanta while hardly breaking a sweat. They didn't drop a single game. But now, it's looking like another sweep for the Magic, and this time they're on the wrong end.

Things look desperately bleak for the men in blue. When they take the floor for Game 4, they'll just be hoping to stay alive.

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