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Monday, May 17, 2010
Magic lose for first time since April 2
Remember when nobody gave the Celtics a chance heading into the 2010 playoffs? It seems like a long time ago since they knocked out the Cavs and yesterday beat Orlando 92-88 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Amway Arena.
Boston played great for the first three quarters, leading by as much as 20 and although the Magic cut it to two points with eight seconds left, the Celts hit their free throws to ice it.
It was shockingly easy against a team that had won all eight of its playoff games and 14 overall. They hadn't lost since April 2 and it's clear that they didn't know how to react to getting their ass kicked.
Ray Allen led the Celts with 25 points and seven rebounds while Paul Pierce notched 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Rasheed Wallace scored 13 off the bench, Kevin Garnett had eight points and 11 rebounds, Rajon Rondo added eight points and eight assists while Tony Allen and Glen Davis had six points off the bench.
Vince Carter (23 points) and Jameer Nelson (20 points, 9 rebounds) were the only Magic players to show up. Dwight Howard (13 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks) still looks like a guy that can't solve the defense of Perk, Sheed and Big Baby.
Boston led 22-14 after the first quarter and 41-32 at the end of the ugly first half. The Celts were able to take the third quarter (33-26) which let them hang on in the fourth (30-18 for Orlando).
Orlando is the best 3-point shooting team in the NBA but they looked nothing like that team yesterday, shooting 5-for-22. They had seven more rebounds (45-38) but the C's did a much better job spreading it around (21-10 assists).
Is it too early to call Game 2 a must-win for the Magic? I don't think so; no doubt they'll play ten times better than yesterday but if the Celtics can pull out another road win, this series could be over quickly.