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Boston at Orlando

Magic rally from 12 down, end Celts' win streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The remolded Magic are the NBA's new streak-busters.

Brandon Bass scored 21 points, Hedo Turkoglu had 15 and the Orlando Magic ended the Boston Celtics' winning streak at 14 games with an 86-78 victory Saturday for back-to-back wins against the NBA's best.

A Magic team that had dropped eight of nine games and orchestrated two blockbuster trades suddenly looks awfully scary in the Eastern Conference after a pair of victories over Boston and San Antonio.

"You see what the possibilities are," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You see that you have a chance to be a really good team. We're not there yet by any means, but you have a chance to be a very good team. And I think that right there, that belief and that confidence that if we will stay with it, we can be very good.

"That's a great thing for our team to get that belief that, yeah, this can work. We can do this."

Jameer Nelson hit for 10 of his 12 points and J.J. Redick (10 points) made a jumper in the final minutes to help Orlando rally from 12 points down in the second half to cap another big come back. The Magic also ended San Antonio's winning streak at 10 games Thursday night.

Kevin Garnett had 22 points, and Paul Pierce added 18, but injuries finally caught up with the Celtics against the team they beat last season in the East finals. Boston hadn't lost since Nov. 21 at Toronto.

"I just thought we went away from executing offensively and we just didn't get any stops down the stretch," Pierce said.

The Celtics had Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard in foul trouble for the first three quarters. He didn't even score his first field goal until a minute into the fourth quarter, a hook shot over Glen Davis to trim Boston's lead to four.

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A few plays later, Howard was wrestling with Shaquille O'Neal for position when he drew a sixth foul on O'Neal by easily falling to the ground. And O'Neal, accused by Van Gundy of flopping in a game two years ago that fueled fodder between the two, wasn't happy with the whistle.

"I just wonder why I've never gotten that call in 20 years," O'Neal said. "Don't pick and choose when you're going to make the call. ... That's what happens when you've got control freaks."

Howard disagreed.

"I didn't flop," he said. "I just tripped."

The Magic tied it at 77 on Bass' short jumper with 1:56 remaining. Nelson followed with a 3-pointer, leaving his hand in the air and chest-bumping teammate Jason Richardson in a frantic celebration near the bench. And after Garnett made one of two free throws, Redick rolled in a jumper from about 20 feet to put Orlando ahead 82-78.

Ray Allen and Nate Robinson each had airballs in the final seconds, and Nelson made four free throws to seal another huge victory for a Magic team that was falling apart only days prior. Two trades so far have made all the difference.

The Magic brought Gilbert Arenas from Washington and acquired Richardson, Turkoglu and Earl Clark from Phoenix. They gave up Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat, plus a 2011 first-round draft pick and cash, in the deals.

Boston point guard Rajon Rondo again was out with a sprained ankle and had missed seven of the 14 wins during the streak. Backup Delonte West has missed the last 13. O'Neal sat out four, Jermaine O'Neal played for the first time in 14 games against Orlando and Kendrick Perkins -- last season's starting center -- hasn't even played this season.

Not that Orlando wasn't enjoying the win any less.

"I had never played on Christmas," Arenas said. "I got nice Christmas present today."

Notes

  • The game was actually a home contest for several Celtics. Boston C Shaquille O'Neal and coach Doc Rivers have lived in the Orlando area for years and Daniels is from Orlando.
  • Tiger Woods was sitting courtside.
  • The Celtics and Magic don't meet again until Jan. 17 in Boston.
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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Jameer Nelson is congratulated by Magic teammates Saturday after scoring 10 of his 12 points in the 4th for Orlando's win. (Getty Images)
Jameer Nelson is congratulated by Magic teammates Saturday after scoring 10 of his 12 points in the 4th for Orlando's win. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Boston (23-5)2026171578
Orlando (18-12) «1917212986
BOS:K. Garnett 22 Pts
BOS:P. Pierce 8 Reb
BOS:P. Pierce 5 Ast
ORL:B. Bass 21 Pts
ORL:D. Howard 11 Reb
ORL:H. Turkoglu 4 Ast
Players of the Game
BostonOrlando

Paul Pierce

Brandon Bass
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
18852191
Boston
N. Robinson, PG432-152-26437
P. Pierce, SF406-144-485018
R. Allen, SG383-132-33429
K. Garnett, PF3410-142-451222
S. O'Neal, C131-30-01062
G. Davis, PF394-128-881416
M. Daniels, SG181-60-05012
J. O'Neal, C101-40-02042
A. Bradley, PG50-00-01020
K. Perkins, CDid Not Play
D. West, SGDid Not Play
V. Wafer, SGDid Not Play
R. Rondo, PGDid Not Play
S. Erden, CDid Not Play
L. Harangody, PFDid Not Play
Totals 28-8118-2139152478
 34.6%85.7% 
Orlando
B. Bass, PF378-155-691421
H. Turkoglu, SF336-100-044316
D. Howard, C331-44-1011156
J. Richardson, SG292-80-04215
J. Nelson, PG293-94-423112
J. Redick, SG304-71-122011
G. Arenas, PG252-90-24225
R. Anderson, PF252-95-691210
J. Williams, PGDid Not Play
Q. Richardson, SGDid Not Play
M. Allen, PFDid Not Play
C. Duhon, PGDid Not Play
E. Clark, SFDid Not Play
D. Orton, CDid Not Play
Totals 28-7119-2945161886
 39.4%65.5% 
Other Games
Chi 95 Final
NY 103
Mia 96 Final
LAL 80
Den 106 Final
OKC 114
Port 102 Final
GS 109