106 - 109 Final
  for this game

Celtics edge Magic in Garnett's return

Jan 18, 2011 - 6:04 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Ray Allen finished with 26 points, including 3- of-4 from beyond the arc, and the Boston Celtics edged the Orlando Magic, 109-106, at TD Garden.

Kevin Garnett, who made his return from a nine-game absence, scored 19 points to go along with eight rebounds while Glen Davis added 15 points in a reserve role for the Celtics, who are now 3-1 on a six-game home stand.

"I knew he'd play with energy. You could see that," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers about Garnett.

Garnett made his return since suffering a bruised right calf in the Celtics 104-92 loss to Detroit on December 29. Garnett went up for a dunk in the first quarter of the contest, hung on the rim and landed softly, showing a considerable limp afterward.

After X-rays and an MRI in the following days both came back negative, the team announced that Garnett would miss up to two weeks to rest the calf.

Dwight Howard registered his 30th double-double of the season, finishing with 33 points and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who have dropped three of four.

Ryan Anderson added 16 points and eight rebounds in a reserve role while Jason Richardson contributed 14 points in defeat.

"We didn't get any stops," said Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy. "They shot 60 percent in the first half, and 60 percent in the second half. There was never a point in the game where we stopped them."

Trailing by six, 93-87, The Magic used a 8-0, capped by a Hedo Turkoglu step back jumper with 4:42 remaining. Allen responded with a 25-foot three-pointer on the far end to regain the Celtics lead, 96-95, and the game remained close until the final minute.

Jameer Nelson tied the game at 104-104 on a pullup jumper with 51.1 seconds remaining, however, Paul Pierce's jump shot and three-point conversion on the ensuing possession gave Boston a 107-104 edge.

After Turkolgu's jump shot was off target, Garnett grabbed a rare steal off a Nelson arrant pass with 15.9 seconds remaining, and sent the ball to a streaking Allen, who was fouled with 11.5 ticks remaining.

After Allen iced both from the line, giving the Celtics a 109-105 lead, Richardson missed on two shots from beyond the arc, and Howard was fouled on the rebound of the second, making two from the line with 2.1 seconds remaining to account for the final margin.

Shaquille O'Neal and Allen led the Celtics with seven points apiece in the first quarter, and Boston took a 27-22 lead after the opening 12 minutes. Howard paced the Magic with nine points and five rebounds in the first quarter.

The Magic outscored Boston 32-28 in the second quarter, including 15-of-18 from the line, however, the Celtics took a 55-54 lead into the break.

Garnett had a breakout performance in the third quarter, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-7 from the field, and the Celtics shot 64.7 percent from the field, knotting the game at 81 heading into the final stanza.

Game Notes

Orlando had won three straight and six of seven in this series, including a 86-78 win on Christmas day this season...Pierce finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists, while O'Neal and Rajon Rondo scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the victors...Rondo dished out a game-high 13 assists...The Celtics held a 52-26 advantage in points in the paint...Boston shot 22-of-26 from the line, 27-of-36 for Orlando...Brandon Bass scored 13 points, while Turkoglu added 11 points and seven assists for the Magic.