Block Party: Turkoglu, Magic clinch playoff spot
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Hedo Turkoglu scored 20 points and blocked
shots on Boston’s final two possessions, including Delonte West’s layup
attempt at the buzzer, as the playoff-bound Orlando Magic staved off a massive
fourth-quarter Celtics rally for an 88-86 win at Amway Arena.
With Indiana also losing 111-107 to New Jersey Sunday, Orlando clinched the
final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, heading to the postseason for
the first time since 2003.
Trailing 78-59 heading into the fourth, Boston exploded on a 27-9 rally and Al
Jefferson’s layup with 57.7 seconds left trimmed its deficit all the way down
Jameer Nelson misfired on a jumper as the shot-clock expired, but Dwight
Howard got the rebound and fouled with 13.5 seconds to go. However, he missed
both free throws for the Magic.
Rajon Rondo cut hard down the lane, but had his layup attempt blocked by
Turkoglu and the ball was caught by Howard, who then immediately got fouled
again with 4.6 seconds remaining. He converted 1-of-2 for a two-point Orlando
On the ensuing possession, West drove around the left wing, but Turkoglu came
up big again with another block from behind, as the Magic began playoff
Nelson and Grant Hill both scored 16 points for the Magic, who have won four
of their last five games. Keyon Dooling netted 12 points off the bench, and
Howard added 10 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
Jefferson scored 28 points for Boston, which is on a seven-game losing streak.
West scored 19 points and Rondo added 16 for the Celtics, who have dropped
eight of their last nine games overall.
The first 12 minutes went back and forth and Boston edged a 24-23 lead heading
into the second. The Magic closed the second stanza on an 11-4 run as
Dooling’s free throw in the final seconds made it a 48-40 halftime margin in
favor of the home team.
After Jefferson and West scored a pair of buckets in the first minute of the
second half, Orlando took off on a 16-4 run, capped by a Hill three-point play
for a 64-48 lead, and increased it to 78-59 heading into the fourth.
The Magic were 3-1 against Boston this season…The Celtics have lost four
straight and five of their last six at Orlando.