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In a game largely controlled by the Orlando Magic, the Celtics came through when it counted, and delivered a 92-88 win. Ray Allen drilled a three-pointer with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter to give the Celtics their first lead since the opening minutes. Big Baby finished strong, playing 42 minutes and pouring in 22 points. Paul Pierce came close to a triple double with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. Stephon Marbury propelled the Celtics with his biggest contribution of the playoffs, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Orlando’s game plan towards the end of the game wasn’t suited towards enabling them to hold the lead. Their star player, Dwight Howard, only managed 10 field goal attempts for the whole game. Ouch. Yet, when the game was on the line, and the they needed a three, they inbounded the ball to him…How did you draw that one up Van Gundy? What about Alston, Redick, and Lewis?
It wasn’t pretty and the Celtics were largely outplayed for the entire game, but they somehow managed to win this one. Consistency at the free-throw line, a rare sight for the Celtics, was paramount to the victory; the Celtics were a perfect 21-21 from the line. Rivers made some good decisions down to the wire, forcing the Magic to take free throws instead of letting them shoot (like they did against Ben Gordon and we all remember how well that worked out for the Celtics…). The Celtics outscored the Magic 33-21 in the fourth quarter.
The series now heads back to Orlando with the Celtics leading 3-2.