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Final: Celtics 91, Magic 80

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  February 6, 2011 02:33 PM

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Final, Celtics 91-80 One of the Celtics' better efforts of the season after a terrible first quarter. They never allowed Orlando to make a serious run and limited the Magic to 3-for-24 from the 3-point line. Rajon Rondo leads Boston with 26 points and seven assists.

Fourth quarter, 4:08, Celtics 83-71 The Celtics scored 9 points over a period of 10 minutes and 34 seconds and then responded with four in 38 seconds to put the lead back to double figures. The Magic will need a flurry of 3-pointers to rally but they are capable of that.

Fourth quarter, 5:37, Celtics 79-67 Game is far from over as Celtics are out of fouls and Orlando can rally with 3-pointers. The Celtics have scored nine points in the past 9-plus minutes and they need to finish strong. Remember what happened against Dallas.

Fourth quarter, 8:52, Celtics 73-63 The Celtics are winning this game with defense. Orlando is shooting 31.7 percent from the field and is a mind-boggling 2-for-20 from the 3-point line, including 0-for-8 from J.J. Redick and Hedo Turkoglu. Celtics are shooting 47 percent but offense hasn't been the same since late in third quarter.

End of third quarter, Celtics 70-61 Orlando ends thhe quarter on a 6-0 run after the Celtics don't score for the final 3:36 of the period. Ryan Anderson missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have made things very interesting. Celtics lost focus late in the third period after taking the 15-point lead.

Third quarter, 3:35, Celtics 70-55 Boston is 9-for-10 from the field in the quarter and has been stellar defensively in limiting the Magic's chances in the paint. Orlando is basically shooting runners because the Celtics have closed off the 3-point line and paint. Rajon Rondo has 24 points, a season high.

Third quarter, 10:31, Celtics 53-43 The Celtics are a different team than the first half, getting off to a strong start with buckets from Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and finally Ray Allen, his second 3-pointer of the game. Allen needs four to pass Reggie Miller. Celtics are 13-for-22 from the field since the first quarter.

Halftime, Celtics 46-43 The Celtics end the quarter on a 24-13 run in the last seven minutes and appear to have their sea legs back after a rough and bizarre start. Rajon Rondo has been offensively assertive and leads the Celtics with 13 points while Paul Pierce has nine. Dwight Howard has been dominant in the paint with 22 points but no other Magic player has more than seven.

Second quarter, 2:04, Magic 40-36 Celtics are heavily leaning on Rajon Rondo, who haas 13 points and have hit five of Boston's 12 field goals. Dwight Howard already has 19 points. The rest of the Magic are 9-for-32 from the field for 21 points.

Second quarter, 5:47, Magic 30-27 This is always one of the stranger games of the season. Marquis Daniels has left the game on a stretcher with a neck injury and gave the thumbs up sign being carted off. The Celtics are shooting 33 percent, have three points from the trio of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins while Dwight Howard has 15 points, but they only trail by three.

End of first quarter, Magic 22-17 Celtics end the period on a 15-10 run and are in the game because they have made nine free throws. Amazingly, they have converted just four field goals and Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen nor Kendrick Perkins have scored. Yeah, it's a strange game. The Magic players besides Dwight Howard have gone 5-for-18 from the field. Earl Clark has four points.

First quarter, 2:44, Magic 20-12 It's already a strange game with Glen Davis and Dwight Howard taking shots to the head on plays. The Celtics are trying to get their offense in gear (3-for-13 from the field) but are getting to the free throw line. Rajon Rondo has six points but two fouls. Howard has 12 points.

First quarter, 3:57, Magic 16-9 The Celtics are alive again but Rajon Rondo has two fouls and Glen Davis just slammed his head on the floor taking a charge from Jameer Nelson and has yet to make it to the bench. Not sure if Davis will be tested for a concussion but he's headed to the locker room. Remember, Davis sustained a concussion during last year's Eastern Conference finals.

First quarter, 6:50, Magic 12-2 Worst possible start for the Celtics, who have allowed Dwight Howard to score eight points very easily and they are 1-for-9 from the field and look listless. Celtics have to dig themselves out of another hole.

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