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Celtics Hoping to Continue Streak as Magic Come to Town

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Orlando Magic (13-4) at Boston Celtics (16-2)
Monday, December 1
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #19, Home Game #11
TV: NBA TV, CSN HD, Sun Sports
Radio: WEEI
TD Banknorth Garden

Game Thread l Chat

Magic Blogs Third Quarter Collapse l Believing in Magic

This game will be a challenge for the Celtics. The Magic are playing very well and they have a lot of weapons. The Celtics will need to bring their A game in order to win this one. Last year, the Magic won the series 2-1, with each team winning on their home court. They are another of the teams that give the Celtics trouble. They have won 8 of the last 11 matchups between the teams.

The Magic are 6-1 on the road and have won 4 in a row. They have also won their last 6 road games. Both the Celtics and Magic are 9-1 in their last 10 games.

The Magic give teams trouble on both ends of the court. They can put points up in a hurry and are dangerous from beyond the arc. They are second in the league in 3 point attemps per game. They are also 8th in rebounds and 4th in defensive rebounds. They also rank second in blocks with 7 per game.

The Magic are 9-0 in games that they lead at the end of the first quarter. The Celtics can't afford to get off to a slow start in this one as when the Magic get a lead, they don't give it up very easily.

Probable Starting Matchups

PG: Rajon Rondo vs Anthony Johnson
SG: Ray Allen vs JJ Redick
SF: Paul Pierce vs Hedo Turkoglu
PF: Kevin Garnett vs Rashard Lewis
C: Kendrick Perkins vs Dwight Howard

Reserves
Tony Allen
Glen Davis
Eddie House
Leon Powe
Gabe Pruitt
Bill Walker
Sam Cassell
Patrick O'Bryant

Injuries
None


Reserves
Brian Cook
Courtney Lee
Tony Battie
Marcin Gortat
Adonal Foyle
Jeremy Richardson

Injuries
Jameer Nelson (hip flexor) out
Keith Bogans (thumb) out
Mickael Pietrus (thumb) out
Mike Wilkes (acl) out

Key Matchups
vs
Kendrick Perkins 7.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.1 BPG
Dwight Howard 21.8 PPG, 13.9 RPG, 3.9 BPG
Dwight Howard is one of the best centers in the league and he has been playing very well on both ends of the court. He had 32 points and 21 rebounds in his last game. He is leading the league in rebounds and blocks per game. Perk will have his hands full trying to contain Howard.

vs
Paul Pierce 18.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 3.4 APG
Hedo Turkoglu 17.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.9 APG
I am sure Pierce hasn't forgotten the last meeting between these two teams when Turkoglu hit a last second 3 pointer for the win. He is shooting over 30% from beyond the arc and Pierce will need to work on the defensive end to keep Turkoglu in check.

HonorableMention
Rajon Rondo vs Anthony Johnson
When Rondo is aggressive, the team is very hard to stop. Rondo needs to continue to push the ball up the court and take it at Johnson on every possession.

Connections
Doc Rivers coached the Magic from 1999-2004
Tony Battie played for the Celtics from 1999-2004
Mickael Pietrus, Adonal Foyle, and Patrick O'Bryant were teammates in Golden State
Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis were teammates in Seattle
Keith Bogans and Rajon Rondo are former Kentucky Wildcats
Keith Bogans and Eddie House were teammates in Charlotte
Anthony Johnson and Scal were teammates in New Jersey
Anthony Johnson played for Doc in Orlando
Clifford Ray was an assistant for the Magic and mentored Dwight Howard in his first years in the league.

Keys to the Game
Fast Start and Strong Finish
Crash the Boards
Defense, Defense, Defense
Limit turnovers