Magic beats Celtics on Turkoglu's shot at buzzerJan 27, 2008 - 10:42 PM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- The Boston Celtics made a spirited comeback without their top rebounder and second-leading scorer, but Hedo Turkoglu enjoyed the last laugh.
Turkoglu's 3-pointer at the buzzer lifted the Orlando Magic to a 96-93 victory over the Celtics on Sunday.
After squandering a seven-point lead in the final two minutes, the Magic joined the Washington Wizards as the only teams to beat the league-leading Celtics twice this season.
"I didn't really want to take a jumper," said Turkoglu, who finished with 27 points. "I just tried to go to the hole and take a foul but they had good defense and forced me to take a tough shot."
Boston (34-8) built a 46-43 halftime lead but struggled for most of the in second half without All-Star forward Kevin Garnett, who sat out the game with an abdominal strain.
"I don't believe in moral victories," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "We played well enough to win. A guy makes a fadeaway (jumper) from four feet behind the three (point-line)."
Before his game-winner, Turkoglu hit a 20-footer to give Orlando a 91-84 lead with 2:41 remaining before the Celtics came alive with a 9-2 spurt.
Boston pulled within 93-90 on Rajon Rondo's layup with 43 seconds remaining, then got back the ball on Rondo's steal. Paul Pierce passed into the left corner to Ray Allen, whose 3-pointer tied the contest with 14 seconds remaining.
"I knew we had to come out and play hard (without Garnett,)" Pierce said. "This group has a lot of resiliency, regardless of who's on the court. There is no moral victory but it was definitely a game that could have gone into overtime or a game that we could have seen ourselves winning."
On Orlando's final possession, the Celtics kept the Magic on the perimeter and for while it appeared they would not even be able to get off a shot.
But with time running down and Piece in his face, Turkoglu drilled a jumper from the top of the key to give Orlando its sixth straight home win over Boston.
"I thought I played pretty good defense," Pierce said. "I cut off his initial drive. He turned around and shot a 3-pointer from off the line and sunk the shot. It was just a great shot."
The Celtics have hit a lull after their 29-3 start, going just 5-5 in their last 10 contests.
Rivers did not want to use Garnett's absence as an excuse, although the Celtics missed his 19 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game.
"We talked about it before the game that this not where we're going to come in and make an excuse," Rivers said. "I said we're playing to win this game. We didn't have any Knute Rockn speeches or anything like that. We just went out and played and did our job."
Pierce scored 24 points but was held to just five in the second half. The Celtics also had trouble containing Dwight Howard, who collected 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.
"I thought we did a real good job on Paul Pierce in the second half," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I thought we put together 10-12 minutes of real good defense.
"Because they didn't have Kevin Garnett and we hit a miracle shot at the end, it was enough to win."
Orlando's Brian Cook scored all 11 of his points off the bench during a 22-4 spurt that helped the Magic take a 75-65 lead into the fourth quarter.
"I have to be ready all the time coming off the bench because it's one of the hardest jobs in the NBA," Cook said.
Allen helped fuel Boston's comeback with 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.
ORLANDO 96 FINAL
Jan 27 3:31 PM
ORLANDO 75 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 27 2:51 PM
ORLANDO 43 HALFTIME
Jan 27 2:02 PM
ORLANDO 19 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 27 1:31 PM
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