Boston Celtics defeated the Orlando Magic 94-71, for a sixth consecutive playoff win. The Celtics take a 3-0 series lead and can end the series Monday in Game 4.
Boston forced Orlando into 17 turnovers and the Magic shot only 37%, tallying just 10 team assists. Meanwhile, Boston turned the ball over just 9 times, shot 47% and passed for 23 team assists. Glen Davis led six Celtics in double-figures with 17 points. Rajon Rondo contributed 11 points, 12 assists, 4 steals, and a crowd-pleasing, sprint-and-dive hustle-play early in the second quarter.
“Pure grit; pure hustle,” Garnett said in a post-game interview aired on ESPN. “It was the play of the playoffs.”
Shortly after Rondo’s play warmed the Garden crowd, Davis scored 7 straight points, moving the lead to 43-19, sending the crowd into a frenzy, all but dashing the Magic hopes of a comeback. Orlando was noticeably deflated by the series of events, and gave a lackluster effort the rest of the game.
Magic star Dwight Howard finished with just 7 points and 7 rebounds in 39 minutes of play. Rashard Lewis continued his struggles behind the arc, missing all four of his 3-point shots in the game. Lewis is 1-12 on 3-point field goals for the series.
Game 4 is in Boston on Monday at 8:30 ET on ESPN. A potential Game 5 would be Wednesday in Orlando at 8:30 ET on ESPN.
Play of the Game: Early in the second quarter, Orlando lost the the ball into the backcourt. Jason Williams loafed to the ball, seemingly the only player with a play on the ball. But Rajon Rondo never gave up on the play; he sprinted into the forecourt, dove past Williams, outfought him for the basketball, picked it up and finished the layup–to the the delight of the raucous TD Garden fans.
“I just wanted it,” Rajon Rondo said.
Game Notes: Glen Davis lead the Celtics in scoring for the first time all season, tallying 17 points (he also added 6 rebounds). With the Celtics up 36-19 early in the second quarter, Davis scored 7 straight points, moving the lead to 43-19 , all but dashing the Magic hopes of a comeback…In the third quarter, Paul Pierce tipped a made Magic basket back through the other side of the hoop, trying to pretend the ball didn’t go in. He continued the act even further by not taking the ball out–until the referees stopped the charade and made Boston in-bound the ball. On the next play, Matt Barnes retaliated by shoving Kevin Garnett right into his coach, Stan Van Gundy, who received a solid forecheck from KG…Boston Celtics were up double-digits in points since 3:30 left in the first quarter.