Reappearing Act: Magic Beat Celtics in OT, Stay Alive in Eastern Finals

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Reappearing Act: Magic Beat Celtics in OT, Stay Alive in Eastern Finals
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Boston, put up the brooms.

No sweep here.

Dwight Howard made sure that his Magic would get in the win column, leading his team with 32 points and 16 rebounds in Orlando's 96-92 Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics, the first overtime game in the 2010 NBA Playoffs, to pull within 3-1 in this Eastern Conference Finals series.

Howard, who has been wildly inconsistent in this series, brought the intensity and aggressiveness Orlando needed, especially after being blown out in Boston 94-71 in Game 3.

Howard, was just 1 of 5 Magic players in double figures.

Jameer Nelson pitched in 23 points, including two key 3 pointers in OT, and 9 assists, to help the Magic avoid being swept, after sweeping the Bobcats and Hawks in the first 2 rounds of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Paul Pierce had 32 points and 11 rebounds, while playing a game high 46 minutes, in a losing effort.

Ray Allen helped keep Boston in the game, scoring 22 points, on 5-7 shooting from beyond the 3 point line.

Rajon Rondo, who has been terrorizing teams with his impressive guard play this postseason, was almost a non-factor in this game. He had just 9 points, although he had 8 assists.

The Magic, who had been shooting dreadful from 3 point territory, hit 10 three-point field goals in Game 4, while having a +15 advantage in that category over the Celtics.

This was the first game the Celtics lost in this year's playoffs, when allowing less than 100 points in a game. They were previously 11-0, while being 0-3 when allowing more than 100 points.

The past 2 weeks have not been easy for Boston fans, as the Boston Bruins had a 3-0 lead on the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals, only to have the Flyers reel off 4 wins in a row to stun the Bruins to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Something the Celtics do not want to go through.

The Celtics also had a 3-2 series lead over Orlando in last year's Eastern Conference Semifinals, only to have the Magic win the last 2 games, and the series, on their way to advancing to the NBA Finals. Boston may have to face those demons again, if they are unable to finish off the Magic in Game 5, which will be held Wednesday.

No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven playoff series, but if any team knows how to win 4 straight in this year's playoffs, it is the Orlando Magic.

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