The Magic finally showed up and avoided a sweep with an overtime victory 96-92.  Dwight Howard was dominant with 32 points and 16 rebounds. He also had two put backs at the end of the game to seal it. Boston really needs to foul him harder and make him earn it from the free throw line. I don't care if you have to throw Scal in there with his street clothes on, just don't let the guy get easy layups. Jameer Nelson was the difference maker for most of the night driving and kicking to open shooters and hitting two clutch threes in overtime.  He's actually a pretty solid player when he plays smart.

Paul Pierce had a great game with 32 points and 11 rebounds but did his usual hero act at the end of regulation.  How many times does this have to happen  before he realizes that Ray Allen is the man at the end of games?  Speaking of Ray, he hit a clutch 3 in regulation to force overtime, then two more threes to almost pull out another victory.  Pierce is our set up guy and Ray is the closer, it's as simple as that.

Rondo had a rare off game not looking like his usual aggressive self. He was in foul trouble for much of the game which is rare for him.   Glen Davis was the only contributor off the bench with 7 rebounds and some great defensive plays. Rasheed came back to earth with 4 points and 3 boards and a technical foul.  Nate Robinson actually had a few solid minutes off the bench as Tony Allen was clearly ailing with an ankle injury.

The Magic won the 50/50 balls tonight for the first time. Dwight Howard was a beast on the boards and played like the superstar he is touted to be. I sincerely doubt he can do that two straight games. J.J Reddick hit some huge threes for them, and I think Van Gundy was smart to keep him in at the end of the game.

I was dissapointed with the Celtics execution at the end of regulation and overtime. A veteran team needs to have better time management.  You can't end quarters dribbling off your foot and shooting off balance threes. Just unacceptable.

The refs called everything, and though it may have been a bit in the Magic's favor, that isn't why Orlando won. I really wish they would just let these guys play.  There is no rhtyhm to an NBA game now and this is why games last 3 hours.  Just let the guys settle it on the court. That being said, the Celtics have pulled out a couple games in this series because of superior foul shooting. Still, all these calls take the joy out of the game.

The Magic played like the desperate team they are and should get credit for this win.  Coming in to this series we knew this wouldn't be a sweep, but everyone caught the fever after the Game 3 trouncing.  Look, Boston is still up 3-1 and going back to Orlando isn't going to scare them.  The Magic aren't going to play that well again most likely, and Rondo will be his dominant self once again next game.  It's a shame we had to waste such a great game from Pierce, but those things are going to happen.  Let's just come out with energy and get another win in Orlando Wednesday night. 

Karl Dillinger 5/25/2010 12:05:00 AM Edit
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10 Responses so far.

  1. JR says:

    Not cool the whole letting Orlando back in this thing. If Orlando wins on Wednesday its anyone's series. Don't make me nervous Celtics.

  2. tb727 says:

    That final play in the 4th quarter was atrocious. Totally needed a time-out there, they had 2 or 3 to use. The way their offensive cohesion was lacking all game, it was a no-brainer to call a timeout, remind the players that one basket would get them into the Finals. Can't believe one wasn't called.

    Can't wait for this series to be over.

  3. rondo-is-love says:

    Yeah, definitely not cool letting them get even just a pinch of confidence. I always feel more confident when the C's play on the road, though.

    Nelson was definitely making smarter plays but Rondo being in foul trouble didn't allow him to be as aggressive as he'd like to be defensive. Look for him to shut Nelson down in Game 5--he takes way too much pride in his defense to allow that to happen again (proof: I think it was his postgame press conference after Game 2--the one where he was wearing a yellow shirt--and he mentioned that Nelson shot 8-18 in Game 1 without even looking down at any type of stat sheet.. I'm willing to bet anything that he had that on his mind afterwards).

    Not to complain about the officiating, because the C's ultimately lost due to extremely horrific execution down the stretch, but am I the only one who felt like Dwight got away with so much in the third quarter? Come on, that swipe to KG's face, then the "inadvertent" (I put that in quotes because the floor was cleared, there's no way he didn't know KG was right there, and the timing of the elbow as KG was coming back up from gathering himself is too good to be coincidence) elbow to KG's head--which he did get a personal for, but I feel it should've been at least a tech, and then the unnecessary contact on Perkins, pretty much dragging him down after a foul had already been called. Letting the players play because it's playoff basketball is one thing and I can live with that... but just because Howard is some happy-go-lucky, ear-to-ear smile kind of guy doesn't mean that none of those were intentional.

    Despite all that, the C's had a chance to close this out in front of their home crowd and reward them for all the awful performances they had to endure over the course of the regular season, but they completely failed to execute well. Pierce's numbers were impressive today, but the fact that he took back-to-back threes when he was completely ice cold drives me crazy. Ray Allen was hot... why was the ball not in his hands?!?!?!?!?!??!?!

  4. ThomasJ says:

    I don't believe it's anybody's series until a 7th game occurs. This just sucks because they are missing out on rest.

  5. Bohemian says:

    This was like that game loss at the Cavs series: a combination of poor game execution and an ever worse officiating. We could have won, but we didn't. Also, we can't win if Rondo is not a factor...he has become so important to this team that when he plays poorly we simply lose. It didn't help having bad performances from Sheed and TA combined with not good games from KG and Perk. Even Doc wasn't so well today, he should have called for a timeout at the end of regulation...and Ray was supposed to be the man to shoot everything at the end, not P2...

    Enough with the bad news, though. Positives:

    1. Baby was huge :))
    2. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are playing great at this stage of the season, only KG needs to get back to his level at the CLE series for the Celtics to have the Big Three healthy and in perfect condition for the Finals
    3. We are better on the road. We will seal it in Orlando
    4. Rondo can't play worse...he will deliver in game 5
    5. This team doesn't like to be the favorite, they need to feel the pressure and the "underdog" status. After a dominating game 4 everybody got in their wagon. We don't play well when the train gets crowded: to all those ESPN fake bandwagoners, please leave some space here :P On game 5 we will play motivated and will advance to the Finals

    6. We are 3-1. One more, just one :)

  6. Bohemian says:

    Another notes:

    1. It's funny that Dwight can hit and Sheed can't even open his mouth or move his arms. Refs wanted game 5, Dwight is another Stern boy, such as Lepoor James

    2. SVG outcoached Doc. That's not normal, he will coach horribly again in game 5, no worries

    3. We are human, everyone has a bad day.

    4. If we had swept the Magic maybe we would have had an excess of confidence in the Finals. Maybe this is a wake up call to make the players see that we don't win with past victories but with the actual games. Better a "mini crisis" now than in a week. Better a loss when you are 3-0 than when the Finals are starting.

    5. Hey!!!!!!!! We will advance!

  7. Anonymous says:

    thank you all for making me feel better, and i'm not an ESPN bandwagon fan. I'm a die hard, and I read celticslife like its my job. infact, following the celtics is like my second job. i believe rondo was the x factor tonight, he wasn't there. i feel like dwight got away with some nasty fouls, and the officiating was very one sided (big surprise) but at the end of the day... the NBA wants an LA vs. Boston rematch, since the C's didn't get a chance after 08 with losing KG. ALSO. i'm PISSED Matt Barnes didnt get in on the technical fouls with KG. he kept putting his hands on him, he should have been holding Dwight back, not KG. Barnes egged that on, and got nothing. Kind of like when he shoved KG into Stan Van Gundy. Funny how the other FLA team calls us the "dirty players" huh?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tough loss...Pierce said he screwed up in the end. He played so well all night too.

  9. Jenda says:

    I wouldn't give Barnes a T. Despite the ridiculous tattoos and him calling Pierce a flopper he seems cool to me (for a guy on the opposing team) and is along with Carter and Pietrus the Magic player I don't mind. Plus he could be holding Howard but Howard wasn't going crazy. KG was and it could have ended up with KG ejected for some psycho act we've seen him do before.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I thought the same thing, Pierce has such a great game and we didn't win.

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