Howard, Magic top Celtics
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Dwight Howard scored 18 points and pulled down
12 rebounds as Orlando bested Boston, 87-79, at Amway Arena.
Grant Hill returned from a foot injury to add 21 points for the Magic, who won
their fourth straight game. Darko Milicic chipped in with 12 points while Tony
Battie finished with 11 and 10 boards.
“I’ve been around long enough and I know what I need to do,” said Hill. “My
legs weren’t all there so I needed to get refreshed. I was just trying to be
Tony Allen dropped in 21 points and had seven steals for the Celtics, who lost
for the eighth time in 10 games. Wally Szczerbiak tallied 15 points while
Delonte West netted 13 for Boston.
“We have to look at the film and take constructive criticism,” said Allen. “We
have to see what we can do to correct things.”
The Celtics entered the fourth quarter down by 10 points and quickly cut
Orlando’s advantage to six, 66-60, thanks to an Allen dunk and a pair of free
throws by Brian Scalabrine.
But, the Magic responded with a 9-2 run to stymie Boston’s momentum. Milicic’s
hook shot capped the mini-run and gave Orlando a 75-62 cushion with 6:51 left
in the game.
The Celtics never seriously threatened the rest of the way as the Magic
cruised toward victory.
The Magic closed the opening quarter with a 13-4 run to take control of the
contest. Howard highlighted the flurry with a hook shot and a three-point play
as Orlando took a 29-17 edge.
The Magic continued to play well in the second quarter and extended their lead
to 54-38 at intermission.
The Celtics used a stout defense to get back into the game in the third.
Boston allowed just 12 points in the frame and trailed, 66-56, heading to the
Hill had missed the previous three games for Orlando…This was the second
meeting of the season between the clubs. On November 13th, Jameer Nelson
scored 24 points to lead the Magic to a 92-89 victory over the Celtics at TD
Banknorth Garden…The Magic are now 14-6 as the host this season…The
Celtics fell to 8-10 on the road this season.