NBA:Celtics 107, Magic 88
BOSTON ó Everything was working so well for Paul Pierce that his teammates just kept getting him the ball.
Pierce scored 17 of his 24 points in the third quarter to lead the Boston Celtics to their ninth straight win, 107-88 over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
“We were just taking advantage of the matchups,” Pierce said. “We saw something that we could do and we just kept going to it. My teammates did a good job of setting me up.”
Pierce, who scored only five points in the opening half, carried the Celtics from a two-point halftime edge to a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Isolating against Hedo Turkoglu on a number of trips, Pierce scored 15 of Boston’s 20 points as the Celtics pulled ahead 68-57.
When Pierce was contained driving the lane, he fired a pass to Ray Allen, who nailed a 3-pointer from the top to make it 71-57.
After Pierce scored easily against Turkoglu, the Magic tried Rashard Lewis against Pierce, with only a little better success.
“He did what he’s been doing all his career,” Boston point guard Rajon Rondo said. “He had a rhythm and we continued to call plays for him.”
Allen added 21 points, Rondo had 16 points with 12 assists and Kevin Garnett scored 15 points for the Celtics (17-2) in a win over a top Eastern Conference rival.
There were eight technicals whistled in the game, with referee Bob Delaney calling four in the first half.