The first result was purely unexpected. Down five players and two starters, the Boston Celtics pulled off an improbable victory against the Orlando Magic. And they didn't just squeak by, either. Boston won by 31 points against Orlando.
Dwight Howard and the Magic will certainly be looking for revenge when they host the Celtics in the finale of this home-and-home series at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday night at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL (TV/Radio: TNT/WEEI).
Boston and Orlando were scheduled to meet three times this season and will play once more after Thursday's game. Last season, the Celtics and Magic battled three times with the C's winning only once, 86-78, on Christmas Day of 2010.
In the game on Monday, Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass each scored 19 points as the Celtics picked apart the Magic, winning 87-56. Dwight Howard finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, but was held in check after the first quarter. Boston held Orlando to 16 field goals and a franchise low in points. Kevin Garnett added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
While the Celtics have been off since their last encounter with the Magic, Orlando took on the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Ryan Anderson scored a team-high 24 to send the Magic back to the win column, 102-83. Howard finished with 14 points and nine rebounds and ex-Celtic reserve Glen Davis had 13 points and five rebounds off the bench.
Boston ranks 26th in the league in scoring (89.4 PPG), 29th in rebounding (38.8 RPG), eighth in assists (21.5 APG) but is third in points allowed (88.3 PPG). Orlando is 16th in points per game (94.8 PPG), 11th in rebounding (43.1 RPG), 1th in assists (20.5 APG) and seventh in points allowed (90.8 PPG).