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It was heartbreaking. Rashard Lewis got past Kevin Garnett and put up a layup that gave the Orlando Magic a two-point lead with only 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation. On the subsequent inbound pass for the Celts, Rasheed Wallace was not able to hit a three pointer as time ran out. As a result, the Celtics lost to the Magic 96-94, after leading for most of the game.
The Celtics really beat themselves in this one after a great game from Ray Allen, who had 20 points and went 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Paul Pierce, meanwhile, had only 12 points and Rajon Rondo added 11 points with 8 assists. Rounding out a poor performance for the starting line-up were Kevin Garnett (6 points) and Kendrick Perkins (4 points).
Boston’s bench played exceptionally well, however, but they were not able to help secure the win. The bench scored 41 points, led by Rasheed Wallace’s 17 points and Eddie House’s 10 points.
Overall, the Celtics turned the ball over far too much, with 14 turnovers that resulted in too many missed opportunities.
On the other end of the court, the Magic were led by Rashard Lewis, who had 23 points and 8 rebounds. Dwight Howard had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Jameer Nelson added 10 points. Off the bench, J.J. Redick had 11 points and hit a clutch three pointer that put the Magic up at the end of the game and forced the Celtics into their first attempt at a comeback.
The Celtics look to rebound from their loss against the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday night.