Ranking every Orlando Magic Playoff series
3. 2009 2nd Round: Defeated Boston Celtics, 4-3
The Orlando Magic closed the Boston Garden in 1995. They proved then and there, this franchise was not scared to make its own history and usher the NBA into a new generation.
Stepping into the TD Garden, that replaced the Boston Garden after the 1995 season, for Game 7 is still a daunting task, especially after the back-and-forth series the Orlando Magic had with the Boston Celtics in 2009.
Blowing out the Celtics in that game? That was an all-time fun game for the Magic as Hedo Turkoglu scored 25 points in a 101-82 blowout that ended the Celtics’ championship defense. It was a journey to get there.
From the first game — a 95-90 win for Orlando — this game was really a battle. Rafer Alston made that official when he slapped the headband off Eddie House. From there it was just a back-and-forth affair.
But this series also included perhaps Dwight Howard’s best game. He scored 23 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in an 83-75 Game 6 win to force the trip back to Boston.
The Magic had shown their resilience throughout the playoffs to this point. But this series was a true test for them. It was also clearly playing with some house money after the Magic got the win. They played with the freedom and carefree attitude of a team that believed in itself when nobody else really did.
The Celtics may have been without Kevin Garnett, which obviously helped the Magic, but the Magic were still heavy underdogs. Nobody quite believed this style of play could win at the NBA level.
This series lasts forever in the memory of that 2009 run because of the back-and-forth battle it was in seven games. But it stands out because it was the moment when you could truly begin believing the Magic were a championship team. Something was different about this team and this group.
And they used that to propel them forward.