Magic
Celtics
96 - 105 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Celtics outlast Magic in double overtime

Mar 29, 2007 - 4:33 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Orlando Magic learned a little something about "Celtic Pride."

Paul Pierce scored 32 points and the lowly Boston Celtics battled the playoff-minded Magic through regulation and two overtimes, emerging with a 105-96 victory.

Al Jefferson added 23 points for the Celtics, who had lost five of their previous six meetings with the Magic.

"This was awesome. It was a great win for us," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Just a fantastic win. A team with nothing to play for just keeps playing to ruin everybody else's season. That's pretty neat."

Pierce scored his points when it mattered most. The forward hit an 18-foot jump shot with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game, 83-83, and force overtime. In the first overtime, Pierce scored all seven of the Celtics' points, including a 3-pointer with 19.7 seconds left, which sent the game into double overtime.

"I just took my time (on the last shot in regulation)," Pierce said. "I was a little upset with myself the possession before because I wasn't able to get a shot up. We gave ourselves another chance and I decided that I wasn't going to let this slip away. I got a 1-on-1 at the top, that's what I like at the end of the game and I got a good look at it."

"The key guy was Paul," Orlando coach Brian Hill said. "He made two huge shots at the end of the game and Jefferson made some big ones, but Paul's were the one's."

Jefferson scored eight of Boston's 15 points in the second overtime, including an emphatic dunk that put the Celtics ahead, 99-94, with under a minute to play. The 6-10 Jefferson also grabbed a 13 rebounds.

"We just kept playing. Our captain hit some big time shots," Jefferson said. "I took some soft shots, some bad shots and no disrespect to Tony (Battie), but I knew he couldn't guard me down there so I really just went at him."

The Magic (33-39), who dropped to No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, had chances to win after both of Pierce's clutch shots. As time expired in regulation, Jameer Nelson's 3-point attempt did not fall. Then, at the end of the first overtime, Nelson missed on a long jump shot.

"It's tough because it was one of those games that we knew we needed to have. They were the enforcers and they were the aggressors," Nelson said. "It definitely hurts. It hurts me and I'm quite sure it hurts the rest of my teammates and the coaching staff."

Grant Hill and Hedo Turkoglu had 20 points apiece for Orlando, which overcame a 14-point second-quarter deficit.

"It's a loss. Every loss is damaging," Brian Hill said. "I don't think the fact that we were down 14 and got it back. ... We took some bad shots down the stretch and we cost ourselves the game.

"I thought we had to manny jump shots instead of attacking the basket. We were in the bonus and settling for jump shots rather than driving the basketball.








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    BOSTON 105 FINAL IN 2ND OT

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    BOSTON 83 END OF 4TH QTR GOING INTO OVERTIME

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    BOSTON 66 END, 3RD QTR

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    BOSTON 50 HALFTIME

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    BOSTON 24 END, 1ST QTR

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