Game 5: Magic rising, beat Celtics 113-92Posted by Inside Hoops
The AP reports:
Taking another step toward overcoming an improbable 3-0 series deficit, Dwight Howard had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Magic to a 113-92 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals…
A series that looked like a sweep a few days ago now has the Celtics taking a slim lead into a pressure-packed Game 6 in Boston on Friday night. The Celtics are facing the possibility of playing it without Kendrick Perkins after their starting center picked up his seventh technical foul of the playoffs, a mandatory suspension unless it is overturned…
The Magic, seemingly lifeless after a blowout defeat in Game 3, suddenly have hope to be the first. They broke out of their series-long shooting slump, making 13-of-25 3-pointers…
Jameer Nelson scored 24 points, and J.J. Redick had 14 to help the Magic to a frenetic pace that the Celtics couldn’t sustain. Howard added five blocks as Orlando built an early 14-point lead that was never seriously challenged.
Rasheed Wallace had 21 points, and Rajon Rondo scored 19 for a Boston team that once seemed on its way to another NBA finals.
The Boston Globe blog reports:
Emotions are a good place to start, and Celtics center Kendrick Perkins was at the center of it all in Game 5. Having already picked up a technical foul earlier in the second quarter, Perkins took issue with a foul whistled against him as he was guarding Dwight Howard with 36 seconds remaining in the first half. Perkins’s demonstrative disagreement with the call earned him another technical and an automatic ejection. As it was also his seventh technical foul of the playoffs, Perkins is by rule suspended for the team’s next game, barring one of his two technicals tonight being rescinded by the league office.
Emotions weren’t the only problem for the Celtics. Health was also a major factor. With 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Glen Davis took an inadvertent elbow from Howard and crumbled to the floor. Davis was shaken up, but he heeded the pleas of coach Doc Rivers to get up and finish the play. As he tried to run down the court, Davis lost his balance and crumbled to the floor. He got up, stumbled past halfcourt, and fell into the arms of official Joey Crawford. Davis would be diagnosed with a concussion, leaving the Celtics two men short on their front line.
The Orlando Sentinel reports:
Van Gundy said he thought that rebounding — the Magic had a huge 43-26 advantage — was even more critical than making 3-pointers.
The Celtics had rushed out to put the Magic on their heels the previous two home games, and they went up 5-0. But the Magic quickly recovered and the 3-pointers started falling for the club that set an NBA record for most 3’s made in a season.
Moving the ball and playing off Nelson’s drive-and-kick game, they made 9-of-15 in the first half and shot 50 percent overall to lead 57-49 at halftime.