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Boston found themselves down by as much as 22 points early in the minutes of the third quarter, but made a valiant effort to get back into this very tough Game One match-up against the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Thanks to great play by Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and yes, Brian Scalabrine, the Celtics got to within four points of the Magic, but lost 95-90.
Paul Pierce took a long time to get going in this game, but finished strong with 23 points. Glen Davis had 12 and Rajon Rondo had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Rondo brought the speed that the Celtics needed to get back into it. Ray Allen had a rough game shooting, and even with so many good looks at the basket, the ball just did not want to go in. This case was especially seen in the final minute when he missed a three pointer that would have put the C’s down by one. He finished nine points.
Surprises from the Celtics came from some of their role players. Kendrick Perkins faired well against Dwight Howard with a few blocks of his own as well as grabbing 16 rebounds. Brian Scalabrine played exceptionally well off the bench with 10 points and four rebounds. Eddie House hit some clutch three pointers and Stephon Marbury put on quite the show early on in the game. Why Marbury was on the bench later in the game is beyond me despite his strong performance early.
Orlando moved the ball well with sharp passing. Rashard Lewis lead the scoring with 18 followed by Michael Pietrus off the bench with 17. Hedo Turkoglu had 15 and J.J. Redick added 12. Dwight Howard was the same old story, with a typical game of 16 points and 22 rebounds.
The best thing that one can say about this game is that the Celtics will not have the Magic walk all over them. If they can play the rest of this series like they did in the second half, in which they outscored the Magic and played great defense then there will be no problems. The bench seems to have shaken off all the cobwebs with the game seven victory against Chicago and is ready to be an asset to the starts. Also, the Celtics lost Game One to Chicago in the first round and went on to finish them off. This one is far from decided. Game Two is Wednesday night.
Tags: Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Dwight Howard, Eddie House, Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Redick, Kendrick Perkins, Michael Pietrus, NBA Playoffs, Orlando Magic, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Rashard Lewis, Ray Allen, Stephon Marbury