for this game

Howard, Magic survive huge rally to top Celtics

Mar 8, 2009 - 8:55 PM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Dwight Howard scored 18 points and added 15 rebounds as the Orlando Magic held on for an 86-79 victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 16 points for the Magic, who led by 18 at the half and held the Celtics to a season-low 33 points after two quarters.

Ray Allen scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half for Boston, which was without point guard Rajon Rondo (ankle) and lost forward Glen Davis to a sprained ankle in the third quarter.

"You've got to give them a lot of credit, playing down Garnett and Rondo, and they really hung in, and it became the kind of game we really don't want with them," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.

Rondo was resting his right ankle, which he sprained on Friday against Cleveland. Stephon Marbury made his first start in place of Rondo and finished with four points in 20 minutes.

Boston also again was without injured All-Star forward Kevin Garnett (knee), who is expected to miss at least two more games.

Allen scored Boston's last nine points, but his potential game-tying 3-pointer from the left corner rimmed out with 40 seconds left. Allen scored 17 points in the fourth-quarter.

After the miss, Rashard Lewis hit a pair of free throws. Eddie House then missed a 3-pointer and Howard sealed the win by hitting two free throws with 13.9 seconds left.

"When we get down so many points," Allen said. "... If we played the first half like we played in the second half? we wouldn't be looking at a 20 point deficit. Then we were trying to fight our way all the way back to win the game, and it's tough against the Orlando Magic."

Lewis finished with 15 points for Orlando, which improved to 2-1 vs. Boston this season.

"Well that was an interesting game," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't believe in the whole moral victory crap, but I just thought we - I was - there was a lot of times where we could've just gave in.

"Baby (Glen Davis) goes down, could've been a time where guys just, 'another injury, we can't do it.' But we didn't do that, and we had actually opportunities to win the game."

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    Magic 86, Celtics 79  FinalMar 9 12:09 AM

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    Magic 82, Celtics 77  4th - 2:00Mar 8 3:20 PM

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    Magic 51, Celtics 33  HalfMar 8 2:11 PM

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