Second Look: Orlando Magic 96, Boston Celtics 92 (OT) | Magic Basketball



May 25

Second Look: Orlando Magic 96, Boston Celtics 92 (OT)

Photo by Winslow Townsend-Pool/Getty Images

  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic were perhaps due some luck in the land of the shamrocks. And with two minutes, 42 seconds left in their season, point guard Jameer Nelson tossed up a 3-point shot that somehow banked in off the glass. Nothing but hope. And that’s what the Magic have to bank on after staying alive with a dramatic 96-92 overtime victory against the Boston Celtics on Monday night.”
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “This championship dream all started with Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson and it was those two team captains and best friends who wouldn’t allow it to end. Dwight, the hulking, bulking big man, scored 32 points, yanked down 16 rebounds and blocked four shots. Jameer, the pint-sized point guard, hit two key 3s in overtime, scored 23 points and dished out nine assists. […] Are the Magic still the longest of long shots to win this series? Of course they are, but at least now they can see a dot of illumination, a pinprick of light where before there was just a dismally dark hole. Doesn’t matter how dire your circumstances, everything just seems a little better and brighter after a win.”
  • George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard leaned over on the Orlando Magic bench and said something to Stan Van Gundy Monday night. Words that every coach on this planet loves to hear from a player. “Look I may need a rest earlier than usual tonight,” he told the man who likes to call “Stanley.” “I’m going to go as hard as I can.…” Hours later, after all the elbows, all the energy and all the excitement, Howard finished 32 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks. Superman stats. An effort of will and perseverance, when his team needed a huge pick-me-up.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Of Nelson’s nine assists, five resulted in dunks by Howard, three occurred on 3-pointers and one came on a layup by Barnes. When the Magic have been at their best this postseason, Nelson has spurred them. He played flawlessly in the first round against the Charlotte Bobcats, averaging a team-high 23.8 points per game and only 1.3 turnovers per game. He continued his stellar play in the second round against the Atlanta Hawks, averaging 17.3 points and 6.0 assists per game. But in Game 2 and Game 3 against the Celtics, Nelson was thoroughly outplayed by his Boston counterpart, Rajon Rondo. The script reversed itself in Game 4.”
  • John Denton of “An Orlando Magic team not yet willing to let go of its championship dreams and beliefs that it is at least an equal to the Boston Celtics showed Monday night that it still has plenty of fight left. And because the Magic dove for loose balls, fought for rebounds, attacked relentlessly on both ends of the floor and even worked a bit of overtime, they still have life today in these Eastern Conference Finals. There will be at least one more game at the 21-year-old Amway Arena because the Magic played with great desperation and efficiency in a 96-92 overtime defeat of the Celtics at Boston’s TD Garden.”
  • Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post: “Ultimately, this game more resembled what analysts and media members envisioned when prognosticating this series: a close, back-and-forth, defensive struggle. Really, this game was also the closest Orlando’s come to looking like the team that swept the first two rounds by clicking on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. The Magic still face impossible odds when it comes to winning the series–teams trailing 3-0 in best-of-seven playoff series are 0-96 in NBA history–but the point here is they played hard, smart, and with a lot of pride tonight with their season hanging in the balance. Down 3-0 and trailing by a point headed into the fourth quarter, on the road, plenty of teams might have just packed it in. But this Magic team made the plays it needed to. Even if the Magic had wound up losing in overtime tonight, at least they would have done so swinging, so to speak. It’s a start. A late one, but a start nevertheless.”
  • Gary Dzen of The Boston Globe: “It took more than two minutes for someone to score in overtime, but Nelson did it twice in a row, banking in one three-pointer and swishing a second to put the Magic up six with 1:59 left. Allen broke the overtime scoring drought for the Celtics on their next possession, hitting a three-pointer to put the Celtics within three. A Dwight Howard lay-up put the Magic up five, but Allen came back with another one of his five three-pointers to make it 94-92. The pick-and-roll worked to perfection for Orlando on the next play, Howard gobbling up Nelson’s miss and putting it back in to put Orlando up four. A bad pass by Garnett gave the ball back to the Magic. Howard would convert again on Orlando’s next trip, a basket that would prove to be the last of the game as the Celtics failed to convert several opportunities.”
  • Zach Lowe of CelticsHub: “I’ll get to some of the nitty-gritty in a second, but let me throw out an underrated stat that tells part of the story of this game: Boston had 19 assists. The Celtics averaged 23.5 assists per game in the regular season, the 2nd-highest-mark in the league, and they needed a full overtime period just to reach 19 tonight. Boston’s offense functions best when the ball is moving, when Rondo can penetrate in the half court, when the team runs, when Ray can curl out to the elbow off of screens and move the ball from there and when KG can find cutters from the post. And Orlando allowed almost none of that tonight.”
  • Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald: “Even before back-to-back treys from Orlando guard Jameer Nelson broke the game open in overtime, they Celtics had a chance to take the game and the series at the very end of regulation. But on a night when the Celtics were gouged by too many possessions that ran deep into the shot clock, Pierce was left scrambling to retain possession of the ball against a triple team as time expired. The botched execution on this play said a lot about the state of execution last night for the Celtics. As has often happened this season, when the Celtics break down on offense, everyone wanted the honor of putting the Magic to rest for the year. None succeeded.”
  • Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: “For three games, the Celtics were the ones making the Magic do stupid things. The difference last night was that, while Orlando did dig in on defense, the Celts were largely unforced in their decisions to go it alone or nearly so. So the Magic have life. Their playoff chances are still attached to a respirator and the pulse may be faint, but there is a game tomorrow night in Orlando. And another chance for Van Gundy to convince his people they can do the heretofore undone.