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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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