magic beat celtics in game 7

Behind 23 points and 22 rebounds from center Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic beat the Celtics in Boston 83-75 to win Game 6 of their second round NBA playoffs matchups. The series-deciding Game 7 will be Sunday in Boston.

Orlando shot just 36.6% and only hit 6-of-23 (23.1%) three-pointers. They struggled at the free throw line as well, hitting just 17-of-31. But the Celtics struggled as well, shooting 41.6%, a disgustingly awful 3-of-18 (167%) from three-point range, and they only managed 13 free throw attempts, hitting just 8.

The Celtics also grabbed five more rebounds than the Magic, and dished five more assists.

But Boston turned the ball over 19 times, while the Magic only had 9 turnovers.

For the Magic, Howard also blocked 3 shots. Rashard Lewis (7-of-18) scored 20. Hedo Turkoglo struggled all game, shooting 3-of-13, but hit a big three-pointer in the closing minutes. Rafer Alston scored 11, only had 3 assists, but added 3 blocks and 2 steals. Mickael Pietrus added 11 points and 2 steals off the bench.

Howard did his usual and struggled from the free throw line, connecting on 5-of-12.

J.J. Redick, starting at shooting guard for the Magic, was 0-of-7.

For the Celtics, Rajon Rondo (8-of-19) carried the load in every way imaginable, with 19 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists (but 5 turnovers) and 4 steals. Paul Pierce (6-of-14) had 17 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. And center Kendrick Perkins (7-of-11) stepped up on the offensive side of the floor with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks, though he had 1 assist and 5 turnovers.

The problem for Boston was, no one else did anything. Ray Allen was an awful 2-of-11 and missed all 7 of his three-point attempts. He did grab 7 rebounds, but had 4 turnovers with 1 assist. Glen Davis was pretty invisible and had 6 points and little else in 25 minutes.  Brian Scalabrine came off the bench and received 33 minutes, contributing little more than 7 points and a few rebounds. Eddie House, who woudl have helped the team’s three-point shooting, received just 15 minutes and scored 6.

The game was fairly close from start to finish. It was a three-point Boston lead after one quarter, and a one-point Boston lead at halftime. Both teams scored just 16 points each in a quiet third-quarter. But while Orlando scored 22 in the fourth, Boston totally fell apart and managed just 13.