NBA Game Summary - Orlando at Boston
(Monday, November 13th)
Final Score: Orlando 92, Boston 89
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Jameer Nelson scored 24 points, including five in the final minute, leading the Orlando Magic to a 92-89 victory over the struggling Boston Celtics.
Grant Hill totaled 18 points and Dwight Howard had a huge night with 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Magic, who won for just the second time in their last 11 trips to Boston. Trevor Ariza had 10 points for Orlando, which has won four of its last five overall.
"We are coming off a season when we won ten games on the road so to fall behind and come back and win those types of games gives these guys a lot of confidence," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "And winning two out of three on this trip really gives us a lot of confidence and it just a great learning experience for our team."
Paul Pierce had 21 points for the Celtics, who fell to 1-6 on the season. Wally Szczerbiak had 14 points, but threw away a chance for a potential tying shot at the end. Boston is off to its worst start since the 1978-79 season, but that team won its eighth game.
"We just didn't show an ability to get stops down the stretch of the game," Pierce said. That's going to be the story of our season if we continue (not) to have the sense of urgency down the stretch."
Boston had the lead once the entire game, at 84-83 after Kendrick Perkins hit a layup off a feed from Rajon Rondo with 2:35 remaining. That came just over a minute after Orlando's Keyon Dooling was ejected for a hard foul on Szczerbiak.
Hill then drove along the baseline for a basket to give the Magic the lead for good again at 85-84 with 1:30 left.
After Delonte West missed a jumper for Boston, Ariza hit a free throw. He missed the second, but the Magic got the offensive rebound and Nelson scooped a shot off the backboard to make it 88-84 with 42.6 seconds left.
Pierce's layup cut Boston's deficit to two points, but Nelson came up huge again, hitting another jumper from the left wing with 12 seconds left.
Pierce then missed a three, but Howard made one free throw for a 91-86 Orlando lead with 6.6 seconds left, seemingly giving the Magic the victory.
A three by Pierce with 2.3 seconds left and one miss by Nelson at the foul line with 1.8 seconds remaining left the score at 92-89. Szczerbiak then inbounded the ball from under Boston's basket, but his pass sailed long and over the end line, sealing Orlando's win.
"It's a different game the last four minutes," Pierce said. "We know we can score with pretty much anybody, we can keep ourselves on the floor with our shooting ability, but until we develop a sense of urgency where it matters most, where we're going to dig in and get stops, we're not going to have success. Guys are frustrated and nobody likes to lose."
Orlando scored the first five points and led 24-22 after one quarter. The Magic extended to a 45-37 cushion at the half and the lead was 66-61 going into the fourth.
"We're more mature," Nelson said. "We've got veteran leadership. We have to stay focused. Last year, we kind of panicked on the road and for certain reasons, we didn't get off to good starts. But this year, we've been getting off to great starts in every game."
This was the start of a three-game homestand for the Celtics with contests upcoming against Indiana and Portland...This was the finale of a three-game swing for the Magic, who lost at Indiana Friday and beat Minnesota Saturday. The Magic host Denver on Wednesday...Orlando has won four of the last five meetings...West had 13 points and Ryan Gomes scored 12 for the Celtics, who shot 38.3 percent from the field, compared to 53.5 percent for Orlando...The Magic missed all eight of their three-point shots...Nelson hurt his right ankle in the fourth quarter and was icing it after the game.
11/13 23:58:36 ET