Paul Pierce scored 28 points and Rajon Rondo contributed 25 to lift their Boston Celtics past the Orlando Magic 95-92 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals last night at the Amway Arena. The Celtics now lead the series 2-0 with the next two contests set for the TD Garden. Despite claiming the early advantage, the veteran C’s lineup is aware of what they’re up against in the games ahead.
“Just think our mindset was to be ready for the type of intensity they would bring after losing at home,” said Pierce. “We know the Magic are a talented team and we won’t take these two wins for granted…Our fans won’t let us relax. We’re going to try and close it out in four games.” Behind Pierce and Rondo for the Celtics was Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins with 20 points combined in the paint. Perk fouled out early, resulting in Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis to pick up crucial minutes down the stretch.
Dwight Howard was stellar for the Magic with 30 points and eight rebounds despite coming up short again at home. Vince Carter and J.J. Redick produced 16 apiece. Carter had the opportunity to pull the Magic to 1 with a pair of free throws in the final seconds. After failing to hit both Orlando was able to come up with the rebound off KG’s missed jumper, where Jameer Nelson launched a prayer that grazed the net infront of the rim to send the series to Boston. Games 3 and 4 are scheduled for Saturday, May 22nd and Monday, May 24th.