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Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic: Reaction and Grades for Christmas Day Showdown

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Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic: Reaction and Grades for Christmas Day Showdown
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic certainly gave us all a nice present on Christmas Day 2010 with an exciting contest that featured plenty of momentum swings.

Orlando started out the game on fire, jumping out to a quick 13-0 lead early in the first quarter, but was outscored 46-23 throughout the rest of the first half.

Boston entered the break with a 46-36 advantage and it looked as though they may run away with the game. Orlando was having trouble knocking down open shots and for the first 24 minutes could not stop the Celtics.

After halftime however, the Magic took back all the energy in the game and the Celtics would score only 32 points in the second half while Orlando would total 50, going on to win, 86-78.

The key for Orlando in the final 24 minutes was hitting their open shots. Through the early parts of the third quarter, the Magic were in the low 30s in field-goal percentage, but finished the day at 39 percent.

Orlando also had a rebounding advantage of 45-39 and got to the free-throw line eight more times than the C's.

Boston clearly missed Rajon Rondo. Nate Robinson is a nice player, but he's much better coming off the bench than running the show. The Celtics tried to have Paul Pierce play a bit more as a point guard would, and he ended up leading the team in assists with five.

Pierce also had five turnovers, though, so that offsets the assist total a bit.

The loss ended Boston's 14-game winning streak. Orlando has now won consecutive games over the Celtics and San Antonio—two of the NBA's best teams.

Now that this quick recap of the action is out of the way, let's move on to what decided the game, the MVP and grades for the biggest players on each team.

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