Boston didn't come out all that pretty, and really neither did anyone else besides Dwight Howard. But, Boston kept at it, and took the lead in the 2nd quarter on the back of Rajon Rondo's aggressive offense and some smothering defense.Rondo ended with a season high 26 points. Dwight Howard led all scorers with 28, but he didn't get a field goal in the second half until 1 min left in the fourth.
Lots of chippiness in this game, with techs to Dwight Howard, Earl Clark, and Jameer Nelson, but somehow none to Boston's players. It is nice when that happens.
Boston was aggressive in the second half and really that's where the game was won. Orlando's defense is just not what it once was, and that has absolutely nothing to do with Dwight Howard. Boston pulled away early in the second and never really came back down. Also, second straight double digit rebounding game for Perkins, which is a great sign. Man I missed that guy.
An 11 point victory at home after a loss is a great feeling, but obviously the biggest story here is Marquis Daniels' neck injury. Thoughts and prayers, Quisy.
Quarter by Quarter thoughts after the jump.
-Dwight Howard started attacking Perkins early, and had some success.
-Glen Davis took another charge, but knocked his noggin pretty good on the hardwood. Left the game.
-Semih Erden dunked a ball and he used his Turkish military training to rake Howard's face. That was nice.
-Real sloppy play to close out the quarter, lots of TO's by Boston, but their defense bailed them out more often than not. Boston down 5 after 1.
-Bad day for C's injuries. Marquis Daniels tried to faceup and drive on Gilbert Arenas, but his face went into Gilbert's chest and went down limp. Didn't seem like a particularly dangerous play, but Marquis wasn't moving much, and had to be taken off on a stretcher. He remained conscious throughout, and gave a thumbs up gesture as he was coming off the court. More on this as it develops.
-Howard and Perkins got tangled up, and Howard got a tech. That was a turning point for Orlando's psyche, they played frustrated after that.
-Ray Allen hits a 3 at around 4 mins to pull within 5 of Reggie Miller.
-Rondo took over towards the end of the half, looking to score a lot more often than usual.
-After trailing by 10 at one point, the C's are up by 3 heading into the half.
-KG is really starting to work his shake and bake post moves. So very, very pretty.
-Rondo remaining aggressive, looking for layups at the hoop despite Howard. Keeping the Celtics on the offensive, and it keeps the game moving.
-Lots of Celtics hitting the floor tonight, Rondo went down and looked like he was in excruciating pain..but that's kind of normal now I guess.
-The crowd is really into this. Every whistle either gets cheered (if against Orlando) or booed (if against Boston). And I'm not talking quiet cheers or boos. While the game was still in question, the crowd was rocking.
-Lots of layups for Boston. Rondo leading most of the charge. The one big block Howard had was a goaltend. C's push lead to 11 by the 7:30 mark.
-Perkins has been in and out with his defense on Howard. Howard had 20+ before the half, but towards the end of the 2nd Q Perkins was really frustrating him. In the third, more of the same; one great defensive possession, followed by missing the boxout.
-While Dwight Howard is playing good D, the rest of the Magic are really dropping the ball. Celtics are 7 for 8 shooting after the half with 5 mins left in the 3rd.
-Rondo is just taking the game over. Attempts a dunk in traffic (makes the FT's), hits a 3, making the right passes, Rondo just dominating the Magic.
-Celtics led by as much as 17, but Magic scored 6 straight to end the quarter and the Celtics looked like they lost some focus there towards the end.
-Neither team shooting well this quarter, most of the points are off FT's, which plays to Boston's favor by slowing down the game.
-Pierce came out of the gates strong. He'd been cold up until this point (3-11) but he either scorer he assisted Boston's first 5 points, and every one of Boston's FG's though 7 mins, except 1 Nate Robinson jumper, highlighted by a strong dunk that pushed the lead back up to 10
-Looks like Orlando checked out at around the 4 minute mark. Lazy defense, usually ending in a foul, not moving the ball well, not running the court with any urgency.
-After scoring 20+ points in the first half, it took Dwight Howard until 1 minute left in the 4th to get another FG. Credit Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, and Orlando's poor ball movement.