NBA playoffs: Celtics, Lakers win
BOSTON ó He’s technically a member of the defending champions, but Stephon Marbury doesn’t have the ring, doesn’t have the memories of Boston’s 17th title.
So he’s doing what he can to help the Celtics win an 18th.
“I’m playing basketball this year. For me, that was enough,” Marbury said Tuesday after scoring all 12 of his points in the final quarter to help Boston rally from a 14-point deficit and beat the Orlando Magic 92-88.
“From where I was, just being able to get back on the court after not playing the whole year, I know I’m blessed. I’m just happy that I have the opportunity to come out and help the Celtics win another championship.”
Ray Allen’s 3-pointer with 1:20 left gave Boston its first lead since midway through the first quarter, and the Celtics took a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a chance to close it out in Orlando on Thursday.
Dwight Howard had 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Magic, which did not hit a basket after establishing a 10-point lead with 5:39 to play. It didn’t help that, on one of the only times the Orlando defense played well, the officials ruled that Rajon Rondo’s apparent airball hit the rim and gave Boston a fresh 24-second clock with 37 seconds to play.
“You can watch it, you can write whether it hit the rim or not,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “But you want us coaches to say it so that I can donate money to the league and I can be called a whiner and everything.
“You’re playing Boston. They’re the defending champions. That’s the way it is.”
Lakers 118, Rockets 78
LOS ANGELES ó Kobe Bryant needed only three quarters to score 26 points, and the Lakers routed Houston to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
Bryant led seven Lakers in double figures. Los Angeles can wrap up the series Thursday night in Houston.