Well, when it's all said and done, the only way to put it is that the Celtics did not show up.
The Orlando Magic hit thirteen three-pointers against Boston. The Celtics only hit four. The numbers speak for themselves. It was these types of statistical discrepancies which supported Orlando's demolition of the defending champions.
The Celtics got down ten points in the first quarter, and were never really able to pull the game back together. The team kept making runs at a comeback, but the Magic would answer back with consecutive three pointers to silence the crowd. Through the second and third quarters Boston played well, outscoring the magic each quarter.
Unfortunately, the Magic won the first and fourth quarter by a total of twenty four points. The thing that was most frustrating for Boston was that the Celtics had some chances to win the game. Rajon Rondo hit a buzzer beating jump shot to end the third quarter, and cut the deficit to just five. Unfortunately, the Orlando Magic jumped all over Boston to start the fourth, and the Celts never fully rebounded. Rajon Rondo's box score looks good, with ten points and ten assists, but he did not control the game, and he was unable to defend Raefer Alston, who had fifteen points and three three-pointers.
Paul Pierce played well in the beginning of the fourth, but couldn't get it done for the charity stripe, as he only went 7-10. The biggest sequence of the game came in the middle of the fourth quarter. Ray Allen hit a huge three to bring Orlando's lead down to twelve, but then Hedo Turkoglu knocked down a three of his own. The Celtics missed the next shot, and Hedo came through with a jumper. It was runs like these which propelled Orlando to the Conference Finals against Cleveland.
It was a great season for Boston, and were able to reasonably far into the playoffs with two imperative parts to last season's championship run, including Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe. The fact that we were able to compete with Dwight Howard is a testament to how well Kendrick Perkins played, and the improvement he has made over the course of the season. Opposing teams better watch out next year, as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will be forces, while Rondo, Perkins and Davis each improved greatly and can play with anyone at their respective positions. Throw in the rebounding genius that is Leon Powe and quick shot Eddie House, and Boston is starting to look pretty dangerous.
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