This could get......very ugly in Boston.
Celtics hurtin’ for certain
Magic cut advantage to 3-2By Mark Murphy
Thursday, May 27, 2010 -
ORLANDO, Fla. - Coach Doc Rivers said the Celtics [team stats] made it tough on themselves by losing Game 4, but this is where the true muddle begins.
The C’s lost two important members of their Dwight Howard defense in last night’s 113-92 Game 5 loss at Amway Arena to the Magic, who have climbed back to within 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals after dropping the first three games. Kendrick Perkins [stats] was lost in the second quarter following his sixth and seventh technical fouls of the postseason, then Glen Davis departed with a concussion at the end of the third after taking a Howard elbow to the mouth and losing a tooth.
The theme continued when Marquis Daniels left with a concussion early in the fourth, which was followed by an Orlando run-off against a downsized Celtics team that seemed to take their cue from Davis and Daniels.
The biggest blow was the one delivered to Perkins, who faces a one-game suspension for going over the NBA’s six technical foul postseason limit, though the team is sure to appeal the damning call made by referee Ed F. Rush.
Add in a recurrence of back trouble that sent Rasheed Wallace to the locker room, and for the Celtics, for all of their health issues during the regular season, never has an exodus from the floor been more pronounced.
“It will be our Game 7. We can’t come back here,” Ray Allen said of Game 6 tomorrow night at the Garden.
The Celtics also can’t continue to defend this way.
The C’s troubles set a nice backdrop for a signature performance from the Magic, who shot 13-for-25 (52 percent) from downtown, hitting seemingly every open shot, and once again fed off the aggression of Jameer Nelson, who finished with 24 points (4-for-5 on 3-point attempts) and five assists. “Our goal was five (Magic 3’s),” Rivers said. “They played a great game tonight, but a lot of the 3’s they had were also extra effort plays. The biggest was (Matt) Barnes’ 3 when we cut it to six in the third. He gets an offensive rebound - we don’t close out - there were five seconds on the shot clock, and he gets the 3 and gets them comfortable again.
“They are a great team when they get a lead, because then those 3’s are easy. And I thought we never supplied any pressure to them in the game tonight. We made runs, but no real pressure.
“It’s very difficult to score when you’re taking the ball out of bounds every time.”
Rashard Lewis opened the fourth quarter with his most prolific run of the series, scoring Orlando’s first seven points against a small Celtics lineup. Daniels, poked in the eye while being called for traveling and also diagnosed with a concussion, joined Perkins and Davis in the locker room.
The game descended into a mess of physicality from there, with the Magic parlaying Lewis’ hot opening spurt into a 15-4 run that put the C’s to bed.
Wallace became the fourth Celtic to leave the game, this time with six fouls, after delivering a hard foul to Jameer Nelson. The back issue sent Wallace to spend the game’s final moments with Perkins, Davis and Daniels.
The C’s will seemed to have left the floor long before that.
Like it or not, that will has re-emerged on the Orlando side of the floor.
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