2:30 PM ET, December 25, 2010
Amway Center, Orlando, FL
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The remolded Magic are the NBA's new streak-busters.
Brandon Bass scored 21 points, Hedo Turkoglu had 15 and the Orlando Magic ended the Boston Celtics' winning streak at 14 games with an 86-78 victory Saturday for back-to-back wins against the NBA's best.
A Magic team that had dropped eight of nine games and orchestrated two blockbuster trades suddenly looks awfully scary in the Eastern Conference after a pair of victories over Boston and San Antonio.
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"You see what the possibilities are," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You see that you have a chance to be a really good team. We're not there yet by any means, but you have a chance to be a very good team. And I think that right there, that belief and that confidence that if we will stay with it, we can be very good.
"That's a great thing for our team to get that belief that, yeah, this can work. We can do this."
Jameer Nelson (12 points) and J.J. Redick (10 points) each made a jumper in the final minutes to help Orlando rally from 12 points down in the second half to cap another big comeback. The Magic also ended San Antonio's winning streak at 10 games Thursday night.
Kevin Garnett had 22 points, and Paul Pierce added 18, but injuries finally caught up with the Celtics against the team they beat last season in the East finals. Boston hadn't lost since Nov. 21 at Toronto.
"I just thought we went away from executing offensively and we just didn't get any stops down the stretch," Pierce said.
The Celtics had Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard in foul trouble for the first three quarters. He didn't even score his first field goal until a minute into the fourth quarter, a hook shot over Glen Davis to trim Boston's lead to four.
Magical start and finish
The Magic dominated the first four and final four minutes of Saturday's game against the Celtics. They were outscored 75-58 the rest of the way.
|First 4:00||Last 4:00|
|Score||11-0, Magic||17-3, Magic|
A few plays later, Howard was wrestling with Shaquille O'Neal for position when he drew a sixth foul on O'Neal by easily falling to the ground. And O'Neal, accused by Van Gundy of flopping in a game two years ago that fueled fodder between the two, wasn't happy with the whistle.
"I just wonder why I've never gotten that call in 20 years," O'Neal said. "Don't pick and choose when you're going to make the call. ... That's what happens when you've got control freaks."
"I didn't flop," he said. "I just tripped."
The Magic tied it at 77 on Bass' short jumper with 1:56 remaining. Nelson followed with a 3-pointer, leaving his hand in the air and chest-bumping teammate Jason Richardson in a frantic celebration near the bench. And after Garnett made one of two free throws, Redick rolled in a jumper from about 20 feet to put Orlando ahead 82-78.
Ray Allen and Nate Robinson each had airballs in the final seconds, and Nelson made four free throws to seal another huge victory for a Magic team that was falling apart only days early. Two trades so far have made all the difference.
The Magic brought Gilbert Arenas from Washington, acquired Richardson, Turkoglu and Earl Clark from Phoenix. They gave up Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat, plus a 2011 first-round draft pick and cash, in the deals.
Boston point guard Rajon Rondo again was out with a sprained ankle and had missed seven of the 14 wins during the streak. Backup Delonte West has missed the last 13. O'Neal sat out four, Jermaine O'Neal played for the first time in 14 games against Orlando and Kendrick Perkins -- last season's starting center -- hasn't even played this season.
Not that Orlando wasn't enjoying the win any less.
"I had never played on Christmas," Arenas said. "I got a nice Christmas present today."
The game was actually a home contest for several Celtics. Shaquille O'Neal and coach Doc Rivers have lived in the Orlando area for years and Marquis Daniels is from Orlando. ... Tiger Woods sat courtside. ... The Celtics and Magic don't meet again until Jan. 17 in Boston.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||28-81 (.346)||28-71 (.394)|
|3PM-3PA||4-17 (.235)||11-29 (.379)|
|FTM-FTA||18-21 (.857)||19-29 (.655)|
|Fast Break Points||16||20|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||24 (3/0)||18 (3/0)|
Next 5 Games
With a 2-point lead and under 45 seconds remaining the Orlando Magic turned to J.J. Redick in an isolation situation.. Redick responded by hitting a step back jumper on perhaps the biggest shot of the game... So how rare was this for Redick? Entering the Celtics game, Redick had registered just 6 plays in isolation all season and was 0-4 from the field... He had 3 total points in isolation and those all came as a result of being fouled...
From Elias: The Magic win snapped the Celtics 14-game win streak, just one game after defeating the Spurs to end their 10-game win streak. Orlando is only the second team in NBA history to snap back-to-back 10+ game win streaks. The only other team to do so was the 1996-97 Lakers who snapped the Suns 11-game win streak, and then snapped the Jazz 15-game win streak in consecutive games.
Dwight Howard finished with six points. That's the fewest he's scored in a regular season game in exactly one year. His last game with six points or fewer was on Christmas Day, 2009. He went 1-for-7 from the field with five points and seven turnovers (he did have 20 rebounds) in an 86-77 loss to the Celtics. In 2008, he went just 4-for-15 in an 88-68 win over the Hornets on Christmas Day. In three Christmas games, he is 6-for-26 from the field, averaging 7.7 points-per-game. In
Despite being dominated for the majority of the game Orlando came away with the win by starting and finishing strong. The Magic opened the first four minutes of the game scoring 11 points while holding Boston scoreless, en route to their 13-0 to start the game. Then Orlando finished the game on a 17-3 run over the final 4 minutes to get the win despite being outscored 75-58 the rest of the way[+]
Orlando owned the 4th quarter vs Boston, outscoring the Celtics by 14 points and shooting well over 50 percent from the field.[+]
Celtics vs Magic - 4th Quarter
ESPN Stats & Information