When you s..."/> When you s..."/> When you s...","articleSection":"","author":{"@type":"Person","name":"Andrew Melnick","url":"https://orlandomagicdaily.com/author/andrewmelnick/"}}

Magic Force Game 6 With 113-92 Victory


When you shoot an effective field goal percentage of 61.5%, make 13 3-pointers and hold your opponent to an effective field goal percentage of 47.9%, you’re going to be in good shape. That’s exactly what the Orlando Magic did against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 Wednesday night. Orlando forced a Game 6 in Boston with a 113-92 victory. Jameer Nelson was fantastic again, scoring a game-high 24 points. Rasheed Wallace led the Celtics with 21 points off the bench.

NBA Stats

NBA Stats

NBA Stats

After the Magic started the game with three turnovers on their first three possessions and fell behind 5-0, it looked like we could be in for a repeat of Orlando’s slow starts in games 1 and 3, but the Magic quickly put an end to that talk. They kept their energy-level high, hit five first quarter 3-pointers and scored 31 points.

The Magic were much better on the defensive end in Game 5. Not only did they limit the Celtics to an effective field goal percentage of 47.9% but they did a very good job of keeping Rajon Rondo and his Celtic teammates out of the paint – Boston managed just 28 down low. The Magic still gave the Celtics a few too many good looks from the outside – they were 7-of-16 from beyond the arc – but overall, their team defense was much better.

“We tried to play our best basketball and it starts defensively,” Mickael Pietrus, who scored 8 points and did a good job against Boston’s wings, told reporters. “I think that everybody was committed defensively tonight and that’s why we got the win.”

Orlando’s outstanding 3-point shooting – they were 13-of-25 from beyond the arch – is what will stick out most from Game 5 but it was Orlando’s ability to penetrate Boston’s interior defense that was the story. Jameer Nelson was the catalyst. He pushed the tempo, attacked the basket, got into the paint and did an excellent job of finding Orlando’s shooters. Nelson’s aggressiveness was rewarded in others ways as well – he got to the free throw line eight times. He capitalized on those trips to the stripe by hitting all eight of those free throw attempts. Nelson also dished out 5 assists and grabbed 5 rebounds.

Nelson’s co-captain, Dwight Howard, had another big game. Howard scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting and although at one point, he missed three consecutive free throws, Howard countered the Hack-A-Dwight strategy that Doc Rivers went to in the fourth quarter by going 7-of-12 from the line. Howard also grabbed 10 rebounds and did an excellent job on the defensive end. He finished with 5 blocked shots, including an emphatic chase down block of a Rajon Rondo layup.

“There was one (play) he went the length of the floor to block the shot,” Van Gundy said in regards to Howard’s block of Rondo. “I just thought his effort was incredible.”

And he wasn’t the only one. J.J. Redick gave the Magic very good minutes – again. And he did it efficiently. He finished with 14 points on just six shots. He made two 3-pointers and got to the charity stripe seven times, hitting six of those free throws. Redick’s aggressiveness and ability to put the ball on the floor continues to get better and better and his potential pay day this summer continues to grow bigger and bigger.

Let’s not forget Orlando’s other role-players. Mickael Pietrus scored 8 points and hit two key 3-pointers while Matt Barnes scored 9 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Marcin Gortat gave the Magic minutes at both the Four and the Five and Jason Williams had his best game of the series, scoring 5 points and dishing out 5 assists without a turnover. Even Brandon Bass got into the action – he scored 8 points and had one very flashy assist when he faked a shot and hit Dwight Howard with alley-oop pass that the big man threw down.

“So he (Redick) played very, very well again,” Van Gundy said when asked about his team’s bench play. “I thought Jason Williams had his best game of the series. I thought he did a real good job of pushing the ball up-and-down the floor.”

“And Pietrus hit some big shots,” he added.

Rashard Lewis looked more active – he grabbed 7 rebounds, but he still has trouble scoring against Kevin Garnett. He finished the game with 14 points but 9 of them came in the fourth quarter when he took advantage of some mismatches when Marquis Daniels and Paul Pierce were forced to guard him. Still, it was good to see Lewis get more aggressive, put the ball on the floor and post-up smaller defenders.

Orlando’s captains, Howard and Nelson, brought a lot of energy and gave a maximum effort in Game 5 Wednesday night. Orlando’s role players responded and followed suit. Forget the notion that Orlando doesn’t have leaders – they have two – and that is why Orlando has made this a series.

Game Notes:

  • The Magic became just the 10th team in NBA history to force a Game 6 after trailing 3-0.
  • Three teams 0 the 1993-94 Denver Nuggets against the Utah Jazz, the 2002-03 Portland Trail Blazers against the Dallas Mavericks and the 1950-51 New York Knicks against the Rochester Royals, have forced a Game 7 in that situation. And of course none of those teams won Game 7, but none of those teams hosted Game 7 like Orlando potentially would.
  • For the first time in their storied history, Boston is going to Game 6 after going up 3-0.
  • Redick is averaging 10.8 points per game in this series.
  • The Magic have not lost when shooting over 50 percent from the field in this series.
  • They are also 4-0 when scoring 100+ points.
  • There were five technical fouls called in the game.
  • Kendrick Perkins was issued two of those fouls, giving him seven for the postseason. Unless one is rescinded, Perkins will be suspended for Game 6.
  • Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels both suffered from concussions in the second half. Their statuses for Game 6 are unknown, but “Big Baby” said that he will play.
  • Rasheed Wallace, Boston’s leading scorer in Game 5, was suffering from back spasms after the game.

Next Up: The Magic will head to Boston for Game 6 Friday night.

Final Thought: Looks we’ve got a series on our hands.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and on Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).