NBA Game Summary - Orlando at Boston
(Sunday, February 7th)
Final Score: Orlando 96, Boston 89
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Vince Carter led a balanced attack with 20 points and Dwight Howard logged 16 points and 13 rebounds despite battling foul trouble, as Orlando rallied back from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Boston, 96-89 at TD Garden.
Jameer Nelson added 15 points and Rashard Lewis 14 for the Magic, who previously notched a win in Boston back in November -- then edged the C's in Orlando on January 28 to help take the season series 3-1.
Rajon Rondo put forth a solid effort with 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who had a three-game win streak broken.
Paul Pierce returned from a foot injury to post 13 points as did Kevin Garnett, who added nine rebounds. Ray Allen shot 4-of-13 from the floor to end with 14 points.
Trailing 51-40 at the break, the Magic turned the tide in the third quarter, outscoring Boston 36-11. After Rondo sank a three close to five minutes in for a nine-point lead, Carter sparked a 19-0 run for Orlando by hitting a three- ball and converting a conventional three-point play.
"I think we just came out with a lot of intensity. I was upset about how we played in the first half, it wasn't as well as we wanted to," Howard said. "We came out in the second half with a lot of energy, defensively moved our feet, we were talking more and that�s what got us the big lead."
Carter added another long distance make during the stretch, which morphed into a 25-2 surge to close the quarter with the Magic up 76-62.
Orlando continued to use the three-point shot to pull away, as Mickael Pietrus and Matt Barnes each hit from beyond for an 82-65 difference just a minute in.
The Celtics began to scrape back with Glen Davis' three-point play making it a 12-point affair, 86-74, with under eight minutes left. But Pietrus again stroked a three and three straight free throws by Howard made it 92-79 nearing three minutes remaining. Boston made a late push, but couldn't overcome Orlando's hearty lead.
"It's unpleasant, we don't like that at all," Garnett said. "Our goal is to establish home court and try to add that as an advantage and we really haven't done that consistently, at least against good teams. That's something we've got to get better at going into the break and second half."
The C's held a slim 24-23 lead after 12 minutes of play, and used a 13-4 run to close the first half for a 51-40 advantage.
The Magic drained 11-of-22 from three-point range...Barnes scored 11 points for Orlando...Boston was 5-of-16 from beyond the arc...Davis was 4-of-13 shooting for nine points with seven boards for Boston.
02/07 18:31:15 ET