Playing one of their most complete quarters in recent memory, the Celtics  opened up a 51-40 lead at the half.
The Celtics opened the second quarter with five reserves on the floor, a departure from their usual rotation of either Ray Allen  or Paul Pierce  teaming up with four bench players. The second unit responded well as Marquis Daniels  scored six quick points on post-ups.
Rasheed Wallace  also continued his mastery over Dwight Howard  by getting Howard to commit a needless offensive foul, the third of the half for the All-Star big man. Howard played just eight minutes in the first half with two points and three rebounds.
The Celtics gradually built a lead that grew to double digits after Rajon Rondo  found Pierce for a 3-pointer with a gorgeous look-away pass in traffic. Rondo has 11 points, three rebounds and four assists, while Allen also had 11 points and Pierce added nine. Kevin Garnett  was held scoreless but contributed five rebounds and his usual stellar help defense.