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Howard sounds off on coach, team

05.13.09 at 12:09 am ET
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Dwight Howard was not in the mood for excuses following the Magic’s Game 5 loss to the Celtics.

On head coach Stan Van Gundy running an inside-out offense:

‘€œYou’ve got a dominant player, let him be dominant.’€

On team emphasizing inexperience in loss:

“We can’t say we’re inexperienced. We can’t use excuses. Win or lose, it’s not about experience. It’s about effort. And in the last couple of games, when they’re down, they pick up their intensity and they pick up their effort and it’s not about being experienced. When you want something, you have to go and try to get it and collectively, even at the end of the game, those guys they wanted it more than we did. And that’s when they can come back from big leads. As a team we have to stop hanging our heads and stop getting frustrated when things don’t go our way offensively, defensively, whatever it is. Everybody on our team has fallen into that category when things aren’t going our way, whether it’s we get bad calls, we miss shots, whatever it is. We tend to get frustrated and if we want to win the series, we can’t do that.”

Game 5: Final Wrap

05.12.09 at 10:37 pm ET
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The Magic were supposed to win this game, right? The Celtics looked hopeless for the first three quarters of basketball. Down by as many as 14, they refused to go inside, settled for contested outside shots, and clanked the rim.

Then came Stephon Marbury.

Marbury scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to spark a run that eventually overcame a nagging Magic lead.

And as they have done so many times, the Magic imploded. The Celtics took a 3-2 series lead, 92-88, and head to Orlando for Game 6 on Thursday. Check back on Green Street for postgame reaction and analysis …

Game 5: Marbury comes alive

05.12.09 at 10:06 pm ET
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When Rajon Rondo went to the bench with his fourth foul midway through the third quarter, Stephon Marbury lasted just four minutes before he was yanked in favor of Eddie House.

Look who’s back. Marbury checked back in at the 8:49 mark of the fourth quarter and proceeded to score 11 points in just under three minutes. The problem for the Celtics is the lineup they have on the floor–Marbury, Eddie House, Ray Allen, Brian Scalabrine and Glen Davis hasn’t been able to keep Dwight Howard and Tony Battie from getting easy baskets on the other end.

With 5:55 left the Celtics trail 83-74 and Marbury will be going to the line for his 12th point.

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Game 5: Third quarter update

05.12.09 at 9:53 pm ET
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After three, the Magic have a 67-59 lead. We’ve played 36 minutes and the Celtics have yet to get into any kind of a groove offensively outside of Paul Pierce, who has scored 17 points and looks like the captain of old. Fortunately for the Celtics, the Magic have not been able to pull alway despite holding Boston to just 36 percent shooting.

It’s been a strange game to say the least. Rafer Alston is having his best game of the series by far with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists and Rashard Lewis has been able to score at will, and still Orlando can’t get any distance between it and the Celtics.

Other notes: With 6:32 left, Rajon Rondo picked up his fourth foul on a drive to the basket when Marcin Gortat stepped in to take the charge. Stephon Marbury replaced him but after missing two shots (including a wide-open 3-pointer) Doc Rivers subbed in Eddie House. Pierce was the nominal point guard, but it was another missed opportunity for Marbury.

The Celtics were able to get untracked a little after Dwight Howard went to the bench with his third foul. Howard has scored only six points, but he has 16 rebounds and has been a hulking presence in the lane. He has essentially been operating as a floating zone. He’s back out there to start the fourth.

Outside of Rondo, Rivers didn’t go to his bench once in the third quarter. Brian Scalabrine is in for Glen Davis, but Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Ray Allen have gone the distance. Allen is still struggling (2-for-9).

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Game 5: First Half Update

05.12.09 at 9:05 pm ET
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There was a point in the game when nothing seemed to be falling for the Celtics. They shot just 6-for-22 in the first quarter and watched shot after shot bounce off the rim. But then Scal hit a three … and another one. The Celtics shot 45% in the second quarter and made a push to get back in the game. The problem is, though, the Magic are not relying on jumpers tonight like the Celtics. After outscoring the Cs 22-12 in the paint, the Magic have a 45-37 lead at halftime.

Rashard Lewis has the hot hand with 12 points while Dwight Howard has been a beast on the boards with 12 rebounds. Even Rafer Alston has nine points.

Paul Pierce leads the Celtics with 10 points. Ray Allen hit his first shot of the game with 3:30 left in the half to get himself on the board.

The Celtics simply have to attack the paint in the second half. Dwight Howard has not been called for a foul since 8:23 in the first quarter and is dominating the Cs in the post. Pierce has looked eager all night to take this game over. Let’s see who gets it going for the Celtics …

Game 5: Energy shift

05.12.09 at 8:47 pm ET
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Credit the Celtics bench, particularly Eddie House and Brian Scalabrine with getting them back in the game. Trailing 33-23 and shooting just 29 percent from the floor, the Celtics closed within five after Scalabrine knocked down a 3-pointer and House came up with a steal on the wing and a layup.

It’s been a struggle for Boston to get its shots off. The Magic are double and triple team everything that moves and the Celtics haven’t been able to make jump shots. Coming out  of the timeout the Celtics have a small lineup on the floor–Rajon Rondo, House, Ray Allen, Scalabrine and Davis.

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Game 5: First quarter update

05.12.09 at 8:31 pm ET
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What can you say about a quarter in which the home team shoots 6-for-22 and the visiting team’s All-Star center grabs nine rebounds and scores zero points? The operative word here is “bizarre.”

The Celtics came out with a lot of energy and seemed a step ahead of Orlando, but after getting an early 8-4 lead, it’s been all Magic. Orlando has been aggressively helping on any and every Celtics drive to the basket and that has let to a lot of kick-out jump shots. Make that a lot of kick-out jump shot misses.

Ray Allen’s cold shooting has continued (0-for-4) and Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce are each 1-for-4. The Magic, meanwhile, have relied on Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu who scored 14 points and combined to go 7-for-9 from the floor.

The second unit is for the Celtics. Kendrick Perkins and Pierce are the only starters to start the second quarter with Brian Scalabrine, Stephon Marbury and Eddie House.

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