Magic zap Celtics
BOSTON — The Orlando Magic needed less than 48 hours to go from a terrible third quarter to a terrific one.
Vince Carter and Dwight Howard each scored nine points in that period to help erase an 11-point halftime deficit, and the Magic went on to beat the Boston Celtics, 96-89, yesterday.
"In a matter of three days, I've seen the worst quarter we've had since I've been here in three years and the best now in three years," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said.
On Friday night, the Magic blew a 21-point lead and lost to the Washington Wizards, 92-91, after being outscored 39-17 in the third quarter.
Yesterday, they outscored the Celtics 36-11 in that period.
The Magic (34-17) moved into second place in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of the Celtics (32-17).
"We were upset about the way we played in the first half," said Howard, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds. After that, "we got stops and then we came down and hit some shots. And after that, we just kept it rolling."
Carter had a game-high 20 points and scored nine during a 19-0 rally that began after Rajon Rondo's 3-pointer gave the Celtics a 60-51 lead with 7:17 left in the third quarter — Boston's fourth and final field goal of the period. That surge wiped out a 51-40 halftime deficit and led to a 76-62 margin after the third quarter.
"I love our team on paper, but we tend to be front-runners," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "When we get a good lead we relax and teams take advantage of it and then you're caught and it's tough to turn it back on."
RAPTORS 115, KINGS 104
TORONTO — Chris Bosh had 36 points and 11 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani scored 22 points and Toronto handed Sacramento its sixth consecutive loss.
"We had a (91-84) lead in the fourth quarter and couldn't hold it," Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "We couldn't control Bosh."
Bosh made 14 of 18 field-goal attempts as the Raptors won for the 13th time in 14 home games.
Kevin Martin scored 24 points, and Spencer Hawes had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento.