Sunday, April 3, 2011

Magic snaps Celtics' streak

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Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson (R) fouls Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis (L) during the first half of NBA basketball action in Orlando, Florida Dec 25, 2010.

The remolded Magic are the NBA's new streak-busters.

Brandon Bass scored 21 points, Hedo Turkoglu had 15 and the Orlando Magic ended the Boston Celtics' winning streak at 14 games with an 86-78 victory on Saturday for back-to-back wins against the NBA's best.

A Magic team that had dropped eight of nine games and orchestrated two blockbuster trades suddenly looks awfully scary in the Eastern Conference after a pair of victories over Boston and San Antonio.

"You see what the possibilities are," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You see that you have a chance to be a really good team. We're not there yet by any means, but you have a chance to be a very good team. And I think that right there, that belief and that confidence that if we stay with it, we can be very good.

"That's a great thing for our team to get that belief that, yeah, this can work. We can do this."

Jameer Nelson (12 points) and J.J. Redick (10 points) each made a jumper in the final minutes to help Orlando rally from 12 points down in the second half to cap another big comeback. The Magic also ended San Antonio's winning streak at 10 games on Thursday night.

Kevin Garnett had 22 points, and Paul Pierce added 18, but injuries finally caught up with the Celtics against the team they beat last season in the East finals. Boston hadn't lost since Nov 21 at Toronto.

"I just thought we went away from executing offensively and we just didn't get any stops down the stretch," Pierce said.

The Celtics had Magic all-star center Dwight Howard in foul trouble for the first three quarters. He didn't even score his first field goal until a minute into the fourth quarter, a hook shot over Glen Davis to trim Boston's lead to four.

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Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (R) shoots over Boston Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal during the second half of NBA basketball action in Orlando, Florida Dec 25, 2010.

(China Daily)

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