|Game 3: Final Wrap||05.08.09 at 9:58 pm ET|
The Magic were in control the entire night as they defeated the Celtics, 117-96, to take a 2-1 series lead in Orlando. The Celtics got off to a slow start and found themselves down 54-41 at halftime. After cutting the lead to single digits, they failed to take advantage of Dwight Howard’s five fouls. Even with the Magic’s big man on the bench, the Celtics were never able to put together a threatening offensive run. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 27 points (14-14 FT). Ray Allen shot just 3-for-13 (8 points). Rashard Lewis led all scorers with 28 points. Game 4 will be played on Sunday at the Amway Arena.
|Game 3: Halftime Update||at 8:33 pm ET|
Just as the Magic have a tendency to do, the Celtics fell into the trap of outside shooting in the first half of Game 3. Rather than attack the paint like they have done successfully so many times, the Cs are settling for jumpers. They’re not making them either. The Magic are outshooting the Celtics 56% to 41% from the field, while the Celtics have attempted 11 three-pointers and made just two.
The surprise of the night so far is the performance by Anthony Johnson. The Celtics were expected to gain an advantage with the suspension of Rafer Alston but it’s Johnson who is leading the Magic offensively. He has hit a game high five field goals (5-7 FG, 11 points).
None of the Celtics, on the other hand, have posted in double figures. Rajon Rondo scored a team-high nine points.
Foul trouble will be the key to the second half. Brian Scalabrine already picked up four personals and Glen Davis has been called for three. None of the Magic have more than two fouls. They shot 13-for-16 from the line.
|Magic get backcourt help||at 2:02 pm ET|
The Orlando Magic suffered a blow when starting point guard Rafer Alston was suspended for Game 3 against the Boston Celtics following his actions against Eddie House. But their backcourt will have help, head coach Stan Van Gundy told the media after Friday’s shootaround. Shooting guard Courtney Lee, who has been out of the lineup with a fractured sinus, will be back in the available tonight. He will not start. Lee is averaging 8.4 points per game and shooting 45% FG in his rookie season.
|Game 2: Final Wrap||05.06.09 at 10:38 pm ET|
The Celtics didn’t need Paul Pierce (15 minutes, 4 PF) to take care of the Magic in Game 2. The Cs won, 112-94, in a game that ended with Stephon Marbury, Mikki Moore, Tony Allen, Bill Walker, and Gabe Pruitt on the court. Eddie House led all scorers with 31 points (11/14 FG) in 27 minutes. J.J. Redick was ejected from the game. Check back later for more from both locker rooms on Green Street …
|Game 2: Second Quarter Update||at 9:14 pm ET|
The Magic wanted to play this game from outside … and paid the price. The Celtics have built a 15-point halftime lead thanks to aggressive play at the basket, outscoring the Magic 32-14 in the paint. They have also outshot the Magic 56% to 41% from the field.
Kendrick Perkins leads all scorers with 14 points (6/7 FG) and has been called for just one foul. Ray Allen, who had a quiet night in Game 1, has added 13 points. J.J. Redick is the high scorer for the Magic with 11 points.
Most importantly, the Celtics have controlled this game without Paul Pierce. He has played just five minutes (3 points) after banging knees with Hedo Turkoglu early in the first quarter.
|Garnett, Rondo receive All-Defensive honors||at 2:22 pm ET|
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the 2008-09 season. The former Defensive Player of the Year received 35 votes (13 First Team).
Rajon Rondo was named to the All-Defensive Second Team with 23 votes (4 First Team). Kendrick Perkins received four votes, including one First Team bid. Dwight Howard was the leading vote-getter.
2008-09 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
Dwight Howard, Orlando
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
LeBron James, Cleveland
Chris Paul, New Orleans
Kevin Garnett, Boston
2008-09 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
Tim Duncan, San Antonio
Dwyane Wade, Miami
Rajon Rondo, Boston
Shane Battier, Houston
Ron Artest, Houston
|Pierce: Two matches for Jasmina||at 11:36 am ET|
Earlier this year Paul Pierce joined the fight to find a life-saving bone marrow donor for Jasmina Anema, a six-year-old leukemia patient. Since Anema is adopted, finding a donor match to combat the rare and deadly form of the disease was difficult. Pierce campaigned for blood drives in the Boston area and pleaded for help on his website, PaulPierce.net. Other athletes and celebrities, including Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, and New York Knick Chris Wilcox, also reached out to help. Nearly five months after she was hospitalized, two near-perfect matches have been found for Jasmina. Click here to read a message on Pierce’s site.