National Basketball Association
Boston 102, Orlando 98
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 18, 2012
CELTICS 102, MAGIC 98:
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
#19 James Capers, #11 Derrick Collins, #58 Josh Tiven
Paul Pierce had 29 points and a career-best 14 assists as host Boston clinched the Atlantic Division crown.
Avery Bradley matched his career-high with 23 points and Brandon Bass added 21 as the Celtics won their 30th division title despite the absence of point guard Rajon Rondo to a back injury.
Glen Davis scored 27 points and Jameer Nelson had 21 points and nine assists for Orlando, which was without standout center Dwight Howard (back) for the sixth consecutive contest.
One night after scoring a season-high 43 points against the New York Knicks, Pierce took over the role of distributor with Rondo sidelined. He already had achieved a season-high for assists by halftime with 11.
Pierce also hit the biggest shot of the game for Boston, draining a 20-footer with 7.6 seconds left immediately after Davis’ steal and fast-break dunk pulled Orlando with 98-96. After Orlando again pulled within two with 3.8 seconds left, Pierce hit two free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining to put the game away.
The Magic trailed by 13 points with under seven minutes to play before exploding on a 12-1 run and pulling within 92-90 on Nelson’s driving layup with 3:04 remaining.
Kevin Garnett added 15 points and nine rebounds for Boston.
J.J. Redick had 13 points and Ryan Anderson had 12 points and nine rebounds for Orlando.
The Celtics shot 62.2 percent in the first half en route to a 55-51 halftime lead.GAME NOTEBOOK
: Pierce’s previous high for assists was 13, accomplished twice. … Orlando hit just six of 24 3-point attempts. … In addition to Rondo, guard Ray Allen (ankle) and forward Mickael Pietrus (knee) missed the contest for the Celtics. … The Magic had a 43-29 rebounding edge.
Top Game Performances
Glen Davis 27
Paul Pierce 29
Jameer Nelson 9
Paul Pierce 14
Ryan Anderson 9
Kevin Garnett 9
J.J. Redick 8
||Free Throws Made
Paul Pierce 11
Glen Davis 3
Paul Pierce 2
Earl Clark 1
Greg Stiemsma 4
Team Stats Summary
Boston will play their next game on the road against Atlanta. The Celtics have a W/L % of .649 after a win and .500 after a loss.
Orlando will play their next game on the road against Utah. The Magic have a W/L % of .541 after a win and .640 after a loss.