Pierce, Garnett carry limping Celtics past Magic
Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – The Boston Celtics got double-doubles from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnet in a 97-84 victory over Orlando Magic.
Pierce had 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and Garnett finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
There were six players in double figures for the Celtics that also include Jeff Green with 17; and Courtney Lee with 14 points and five assists; and Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa with 12 each.
After losing Rajon Rondo, the Celitc also lost Jared Sullinger who underwent surgery to repair a lumbar disk and is expected to be back next season.
But the Celtics believe they remain a playoff contender. The win over the Magic was Boston’s third straight without Rondo.
“We have to be a team by committee,” coach Doc Rivers said. “I’m asking guys to play different spots. It does create confusion on the other end.”
Against the Magic, the Celtics had assists on 30 of their 42 field goals while shooting exactly 50 percent.
Pierce scored the last four points of the third quarter, putting the Celtics up 72-59 and starting a 10-0 run for Boston. The Celtics opened the fourth quarter 7 for 9, including a series of dunks by Lee and Green during an 8-2 spurt that extended the lead to 86-63.
J.J. Redick had 15 points and five assists and Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Magic, who finished with 95 shots. Andrew Nicholson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Moore also scored 14 for the Magic.
The Magic were without their top two scorers in Arron Afflalo (calf) and Glen Davis (broken left foot), then lost point guard Jameer Nelson to a bruised left forearm.