BOSTON (AP) -- Orlando Magic coach Brian Hill didn't panic when
his young team found itself trailing for the first time in the game
late in the fourth quarter.
Instead of calling a timeout, he let the Magic play through
Hill's confidence was rewarded when Grant Hill scored two of his
18 points on a go-ahead layup with 1:30 remaining to lift the Magic
to a 92-89 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
"You just have to keep your composure, stay calm and do what's
necessary," Grant Hill said. "Teams are going to make runs, and
they did. But we did all those things, we kept our composure and
got the win."
Jameer Nelson scored 24 points and Dwight Howard added 17 points
and 15 rebounds to help the Magic win their fourth game in five
tries after starting the season 1-2.
After the Magic blew an 11-point third-quarter lead and an
eight-point fourth-quarter lead, Hill's layup made the score 85-84
and gave Orlando the advantage for good. Following a Delonte West
miss, Trevor Ariza made one free throw and Nelson scored on a layup
to make it a two-possession game.
Nelson then followed Paul Pierce's basket with a 22-footer with
12 seconds remaining to seal the game. Nelson also had seven
assists and five rebounds.
"This is one of the games that when you look at the first 10
games, you look at and you say, 'This is a game we should have
won," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "We stopped scoring. We
stopped moving the ball. So that hurt us."
Orlando improved to 3-1 in games decided by five points or less
after going 10-14 in those contests last year. The Magic also won
their second consecutive road game after going just 10-31 on the
road last year.
Simply put, this was the type of game the Magic struggled with
"That's a good experience for us to go behind by one towards
the end of the game and have to execute to get back on top," Brian
Hill said. "We're coming off a season where we won 10 games on the
road, so to fall behind and come back will give our guys a lot of
The Celtics, on the other hand, blew a late lead for the second
straight game. Boston led by as many as 25 in the third quarter and
19 in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 94-93 loss at Cleveland.
This time, the Celtics trailed the entire time until Kendrick
Perkins gave them an 84-83 lead with 2:35 remaining. But that was
only time Boston led.
"We showed our inability to get stops down the stretch again,"
Pierce said. "That's the story of our season."
Pierce scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and West
added 13 off the bench for the Celtics, who have lost three
straight and are off to their worst start since the 1978-79 season
with a 1-6 record.
Hill scored seven quick points to help the Magic (5-3) take
first-quarter leads of 15-4 and 20-9.
The Celtics closed to gap to two points on three occasions in
the second quarter, but Hill sparked another surge with
back-to-back jumpers to help Orlando extend its lead to 45-37 by
Pierce was just 1-for-8 in the first half and Boston shot 30
percent as a team.
Boston center Theo Ratliff missed his fifth game of the
season with a sore lower back. ... The Celtics are in the midst of
a four-game in six-day stretch. ... Hill returned to the lineup
after missing Saturday's game in Minnesota to rest. ... Magic
forward Hedo Turkoglu played after missing Sunday's practice with
an illness. ... Leon Powe had 10 points and seven rebounds in his
NBA debut. ... Orlando guard Keyon Dooling was ejected with 3:47
remaining in the fourth quarter after a flagrant foul on Wally