They say that a wounded animal can be deadly in a fight and fans at the “New Garden” in Boston saw an example of that occur before their eyes on Monday night. The Celtics were hosting the Orlando Magic and they took the floor with two of their starters and a key reserve in street clothes due to injury. Point guard Rajon Rondo who had missed the last few games with a sprained right wrist; was joined by Ray Allen who had twisted his left ankle on Sunday and Mickael Pietrus who was suffering from a sore right shoulder. Boston looked ripe for the picking as the Magic have been one of the best teams in the Association so far in this campaign.
Unfortunately for the team from Orlando they forgot to pack one very important item in their travel bags; their offense. The Magic played so badly that they set records for their ineptitude; the club scored the least amount of points in a game in their entire existence. They were held to an utterly embarrassing 24.6% (16-25) from the floor with Dwight Howard the only player in a Orlando uniform to hit more than two shots from the field. They would score just 36 points in the last 36 minutes of action as the Celtics beat them up and left them by the side of the road winning the game 87-56.
It was the second straight victory for Boston after topping the Washington Wizards on Sunday and brings them back to even in their home arena as they now have a 5-5 mark in the “New Garden.” It also may quiet all the talk about dismantling the team that has dominated conversation over the past week. The Celtics were led by Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass both with 19 points while Kevin Garnett notched a double-double including 14 points. Howard was the only player on the Magic to score in double figures as he racked up a double-double with 18 points for the night.
Although neither club looked impressive offensively in the first, it was a competitive period. E’Twaun Moore hit a pair from the charity stripe with 21 seconds to play and the Celtics held a razor-thin 22-20 advantage at the end of the quarter. The Magic trailed by one point at 34-33 with 2:44 remaining in the second. The Celtics would end the period on a 12-3 run and as the game reached the half they were on top 46-36.
That would be as close as the visitors got to their hosts the rest of the night as the Orlando offense sputtered then stalled out. Boston would hold a 69-46 lead at the conclusion of the third. Needless to say things got no brighter for the Magic in the final quarter of play as the Celtics completed the old-fashioned tail kicking.
Pierce knocked down 19 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds while Bass came off the bench and had 19 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist. Garnett scored 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals in the victory.
Howard put up 18 points, grabbed 14 boards, 3 assists, a block and a steal. Boston improves to 7-9 and are off until Thursday as they head to Orlando to meet the Magic in their house while Orlando with a record of 11-5 move on to Indiana as they play the Pacers on Wednesday.