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Ten statistical nuggets from Game 5

5/27/2010

Here are 10 facts and figures from Wednesday’s Eastern Conference finals Game 5 between the Celtics and Magic (information provided by ESPN Stats and Information and the Elias Sports Bureau):

1. The Celtics are forced to a sixth game after leading a best-of-7 series 3-0 for the first time in their history (11 previous series all ended within 5 games). The Magic are the 10th team in NBA history to force a Game 6 after going down 3-0 in a best-of-7 series (out of the 94 teams that have faced a 3-0 deficit).

2. The Magic have now won four straight games against the Celtics when facing elimination (Games 6 and 7 of 2009 conference semis and Games 4 and 5 of this series).

3. Celtics coach Doc Rivers fell to 7-13 in potential series clinching games (second-worst record in NBA history among coaches with at least 15 such games).

4. Paul Pierce hit the ground running on Wednesday, scoring eight quick points in the first quarter against Matt Barnes. Unfortunately for Pierce, he would only score eight more points the rest of the way. After some defensive adjustments, the Magic held the Celtic captain in check, limiting Pierce to zero made FG and eight FT the final 39 ½ minutes of the game. (Paul Pierce’s last made FG came with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter). Nevertheless, Pierce (18 points) became the ninth player in Celtics history to score 2,000 career playoff points.

5. The Celtics fell to 0-4 this postseason when allowing 100-plus points.

6. Dwight Howard led the Magic with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. He's the first player to have 5 games with 5-plus blocks in a single postseason since Tim Duncan had 7 such games en route to the 2007 NBA title.

7. Jameer Nelson had 24 points and 5 assists, giving him 47 points and 14 assists in the last 2 games (had 44 points and 7 assists in 1st 3 games of series).

8. Rasheed Wallace led the Celtics with 21 points off the bench, his most points in a playoff game since the 2008 first round (as a Piston against the 76ers).

9. Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Pierce were a combined 8 for 28 from the field on contested FG attempts (0-4 3-pt FG), and 5 of 6 on uncontested FG attempts including 3 for 3 from three-point territory.

10. Kevin Garnett is having major difficulty finishing near the basket. Garnett is shooting 37.1 percent in the Magic series, but making even less near the basket. The Celtics power forward has hit just 6-18 FG inside of five feet in the series.