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Celtics rally in 4th to beat Magic and take 3-2 series lead

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The Sports Network
5/13/2009 2:54:29 AM
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Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Glen Davis and Stephon Marbury were unlikely catalysts in the fourth quarter, and Ray Allen hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:20 remaining, as the Boston Celtics rallied from a 14-point deficit in the final period to shock Orlando, 92-88, grabbing the pivotal Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Marbury scored all 12 of his points in the final quarter, while Davis netted 10 of his game-high 22 in the last 12 minutes for the defending NBA champions, who took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

"Toughness, a lot of character, when you go through trials and tribulations like that during the game, and to come back and win is unbelievable," said Davis. "Our guys showed a lot of character. Stephon Marbury led the charge in the second half, and made some things happen, and that energy fed me."

The Celtics closed the game on an amazing 17-3 spurt, forcing Orlando to miss its final eight shots from the field.

"Well there was a point in time where we decided to lock down, we locked down and didn't give them the basket, and that's what created the positive offense for us," said Davis. "We did our assignments on defense, and that's how we won the game."

Davis, who hit the game-winning jumper at the buzzer Sunday in Boston's 95-94 triumph, also had seven rebounds. He and Marbury combined to shoot 9-of-11 from the field in the crucial fourth quarter.

Paul Pierce ended with 19 points, nine boards and eight assists for the Celtics, who will try to close the series in Game 6, which is scheduled for Thursday in Orlando.

Allen tallied 13 points and Kendrick Perkins came up with 11 big rebounds for Boston, which made all 21 of its foul shots.

Rashard Lewis scored 19 and Hedo Turkoglu netted 18 for the Magic. Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds in defeat. Rafer Alston scored 16 for the Magic.

"It's just a game that really hurts you know that you had it under control all night and the last few minutes it's slipping away...it really hurts," said Turkoglu. "We got nothing else to do right now. We can't really be down on ourselves and think about it. All we have to do, just be a strong team, get ourselves together, win in Orlando and come back here and try to finish it here."

The Magic built a 28-point lead in the third quarter of Game 1 at TD Banknorth Garden and won by just five. On Tuesday, it was a total collapse.

"I think defensively we didn't pressure like we did when we built the lead and offensively we didn't do what we did to get the lead," said Howard. "We have to recognize when we have a lead instead of trying to burn the clock out, we just need to move the ball and that is the reason we were winning with five minutes to go."

A dunk by Mickael Pietrus extended the Magic to their largest lead of the night, 77-63, with just under nine minutes left. Marbury came back with a three-pointer and a jumper, and the game turned in favor of the Celtics right after Turkoglu's jumper made it 85-75 with nearly 5 1/2 minutes left.

"It was right for me to go in and do what I did for us to win the basketball game," said Marbury. "When I got into the game my mindset was to go into the game and try to create something where we can change the flow of the game."

That was Orlando's final field goal, as Boston came back with the ensuing 13 points. A layup from Perkins, off a great feed from Allen near the top of the arc, had the hosts within 85-83 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Turkoglu and Alston then missed layups on separate possessions, opening the door for the Celtics. Allen escaped the defense of J.J. Redick and drained the go-ahead three-pointer from the right wing. That gave the Celtics their first lead since early in the opening quarter.

"I know he prefers to come off that way, but when I got the back screen from Big Baby (Davis) on the left side I didn't want to get re-screened so I wanted to push him off to the other side," Redick said of Allen. "I played it right and obviously they set a great screen so I was a half step behind, but I thought I got a good contest. As Ray has done it countless times, he hit another great shot."

The Celtics continued to capitalize from their scrappy play. Alston missed a three-pointer, and Boston got the ball back when Rajon Rondo threw the ball off Howard's body and out of bounds.

Then there was some controversy. Rondo missed a three-pointer, though officials overturned the original call of a 24-second violation, leaving Boston with the ball with 36.2 seconds left as Perkins was under the basket to get the rebound. Rondo's shot barely hit the front of the rim, and after Allen missed a jumper with the shot clock running down, Pierce chased down the loose ball and was fouled with 9.5 seconds left.

It was a foul shooting contest from there. Eddie House drained a pair before Lewis made two, leaving the score at 88-87 with 7.3 seconds left.

Allen made two from the charity stripe, and then the Celtics smartly fouled Howard, a 59-percent shooter from the line during the regular season. He made the first with 5.9 ticks left, but intentionally clanked the second one for a 90-88 difference.

Davis secured the ball and made two free throws to seal the thrilling victory.

"Dwight Howard had the perfect miss," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "It was dangerous, they almost got that rebound, but still the execution was flawless."

Orlando led 22-16 after one quarter, finishing the period on an 18-8 spurt. The Magic led by as many as 10 in the second before settling for a 45-37 cushion at the half.

Turkoglu converted a three-point play in the closing minute of the third, providing Orlando with a 67-59 lead moving to the fourth.

Game Notes:

Orlando missed all six of its three-point shots in the final quarter and ended 6-of-24 from beyond the arc...The Celtics had just eight turnovers, leading to only three Orlando points...The backcourt combination of Rondo and Allen combined to shoot 6-of-23. Rondo ended with six points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Glen Davis (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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