Orlando at Boston

Venue: TD Garden
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Kevin Garnett should be back in the lineup Monday night after missing nine games, but the Boston Celtics' injury woes haven't completely gone away.

While Garnett would give the Celtics a boost if he returns as expected, Shaquille O'Neal - coming off arguably his best game in a Boston uniform - may miss the Orlando Magic's first visit to TD Garden since losing in the Eastern Conference finals.

Garnett had a game-high 22 points in Orlando on Dec. 25, but nothing else went right as the Celtics (30-9) felt the absence of Rajon Rondo. Boston had a then-season-low 15 assists, shot 29.7 percent in the second half and blew a 10-point halftime lead in an 86-78 loss that snapped its 14-game winning streak.

Orlando (26-14) won despite a six-point, five-foul effort from Dwight Howard, as the Celtics did nothing to take advantage. They had just 24 points in the paint, including two from O'Neal, who fouled out in 10 minutes.

"There was no question they were using Shaq to try to get Dwight in foul trouble," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

O'Neal didn't look anything like a veteran on his last legs against Charlotte on Friday. He played a season-high 35 minutes, scoring 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and blocking five shots as the Celtics improved to 6-3 without Garnett in a 99-94 win.

"I knew that whatever happened I was going to be ready. I've been in foul trouble and haven't really played a lot of minutes so there was really no excuse for me to be tired," O'Neal said. "I just came out and got a few more touches tonight and just did what I do."

Garnett - out since Dec. 29 - should return after going through a full practice Sunday, but O'Neal sat out with a leg muscle he claimed to have strained by slipping on ice. He's questionable to face the Magic.

Rondo is healthy for this rematch, but Boston's frontcourt will be depleted even if Garnett and O'Neal can go. Backup center Jermaine O'Neal is looking at possible season-ending knee surgery, while Kendrick Perkins has yet to debut.

Perkins practiced Sunday and should be back by the time the teams meet for the third and final time Feb. 6.

Orlando has won its last three visits to Boston in the regular season, and a victory Monday would allow it to wrap up its road trip at 3-2.

Down by 15 in the first quarter Saturday against Minnesota, the Magic controlled the final 36 minutes, with J.J. Redick and Jason Richardson each finishing with 21 points in a 108-99 win.

"J.J. has been playing well. He's always ready to play and so is Jason Richardson," Van Gundy said. "Those guys always play hard. You can count on their energy."

The two players combined for just 16 points in the first meeting with the Celtics, but Brandon Bass' 21 points and nine rebounds gave the Magic a big boost as Howard struggled.

Monday's meeting could hinge on how well Jameer Nelson fares against Rondo. The Magic are 10-4 against Boston - playoffs included - when their starting point guard scores at least 12 points.

Nelson, however, has averaged 9.6 points and shot 36.1 percent in his last eight road games.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Orlando 3 Boston -3
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Orlando5th Southeast 2359.280313-7Lost 4
Boston4th Atlantic 2557.305232-8Lost 2
Injuries
Orlando
PlayerInjury
N VucevicAchilles
Boston
PlayerInjury
G WallaceKnee
 
Key Players
Dwight<br>Howard
Dwight
Howard
, C
36.3 Min. Per Game 34.8 Paul<br>Pierce
Paul
Pierce
, SF
21.7 Pts. Per Game 19.2
1.2 Ast. Per Game 3.4
13.3 Reb. Per Game 5.2
56.8 Field Goal % 51.1
0 Three Point % 41.2
58.9 Free Throw % 86.2
 
Team Rankings
TeamRankPoints
Orlando Magic787.17
Boston Celtics390.68
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
 
Other Games
Pho 129 Final
NY 121
Utah 101 Final
Wash 108
Chi 96 Final
Mem 84
Char 92 Final
Phi 96
Tor 81 Final
NO 85
Mil 84 Final
Hou 93
Dal 89 Final
Det 103
Ind 107 Final
LAC 114
Sac 98 Final
Atl 100
NJ 100 Final
GS 109
Min 102 Final
Port 113
OKC 94 Final
LAL 101