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Magic Beats Celtics, 83-78

Celtics' Paul Pierce reacts to play in the fourth quarter against the Magic, Friday, in Boston.  (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Celtics' Paul Pierce reacts to play in the fourth quarter against the Magic, Friday, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Vince Carter scored 26 points, Rashard Lewis had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics 83-78 on Friday night.

Dwight Howard grabbed 15 boards and Mickael Pietrus added 14 points for Orlando, which won the rematch of last season's Eastern Conference semifinal for its fourth consecutive victory.

Paul Pierce scored 21 for Boston, which has lost three of its last four, and three of five at home. Kevin Garnett scored 13 points with 11 rebounds, and Ray Allen had 15 points for the Celtics.

Rasheed Wallace had 13 rebounds, but he was 0 for 8 from 3-point range and Boston was 2 of 19 from beyond the arc as a team to contribute to a 34.5 percent overall shooting percentage.

The game was the first meeting between the teams since the playoffs, when Orlando rallied from a 3-2 deficit to advance. It was the first time in franchise history that the Celtics lost a series after going into Game 6 with a chance to clinch.

Boston didn't have Garnett back then; he was recovering from a knee injury. And it didn't have Wallace, who signed in the offseason as a free agent.

Kendrick Perkins picked up his fifth foul - and a technical to go with it - with 7:25 left in third and played only 15 minutes in all. Wallace took most of his minutes, hitting from under the basket with 2:53 left to tie the game 78-all.

But Orlando had a key addition, too: Carter, who hit a fadeaway jumper from 12 feet to break the tie with 2:33 to play. Lewis made a pair of free throws with 59 seconds left, then Jason Williams stole the ball from Ray Allen to clinch the victory.

The Magic scored 12 straight points after trailing 6-5, the Pietrus made a 3-pointer and a 19-footer at the end of the first quarter to make it a 16-point game. But Boston scored seven in a row to start the second, then went on a 12-3 run just before the half to make it a 41-40 deficit.

Orlando led by 10 in the third, and 66-59 heading into the fourth before Boston cut it to one point when Wallace had a steal, leading to Pierce's fast-break layup that made it 75-74 with 5:16 to play.

This program aired on November 21, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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