BOSTON (AP) — Ray Allen’s 3-pointer with 1:20 left gave Boston its first lead since the opening minutes and the Celtics beat the Orlando Magic 92-88 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Stephon Marbury scored all of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, keeping the Celtics in the game after a lackluster 36 minutes that left them trailing by 14 with 8:49 to play. Orlando led 85-75 with 5:39 left, then Boston scored the next 13 points to open an 88-85 lead before Rashard Lewis’ free throws with 7.3 seconds left.
Paul Pierce had 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Kendrick Perkins grabbed 11 rebounds, and Game 4 hero Glen “Big Baby” Davis scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. Davis also grabbed the rebound and hit a pair of free throws after Dwight Howard intentionally missed a free throw with 5.9 seconds left.
“It’s all about never giving in and having the heart of a champion,” Pierce said.
Howard had 12 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando, which needs a victory in Game 6 on Thursday night to force the series back to Boston for a decisive seventh game.
Lewis scored 19 and Hedo Turkoglu had 18 with seven assists for the Magic, who almost blew a 28-point lead in Game 1, then lost Game 4 on Sunday when Davis hit a 21-foot buzzer-beater.
Davis hurt them again on Tuesday, but he didn’t wait quite as long.
Mickael Pietrus dunked on an alley-oop to make it 77-63 with 8:49 left, Orlando’s biggest lead of the game, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers disgustedly called a timeout.
But Marbury hit a 3-pointer, then another jumper, and after Davis sank a pair of hook shots, Marbury converted a three-point play to make it 83-75. Turkoglu made a jumper to extend the lead to 10 points before Rivers put Pierce, Perkins and Rajon Rondo back in the game with 4:55 left.
Two jumpers by Davis, a layup by Pierce and a reverse from Perkins made it 85-83. Davis missed a potential game-tying shot with 1:55 left, but Allen made up for it by putting Boston ahead with a 3-pointer — just his third basket of the game.
Orlando had a chance to take back the lead when Rondo’s 3-pointer as the 24-second clock expired seemed to skim only the net as it came down, and the shot clock buzzer went off. But Perkins, who had grabbed the rebound, argued vociferously that the ball tipped the rim, and the referees overruled the call, giving the ball back to Boston with just 37 seconds left and allowing them to run the clock down to the final seconds.
Notes: Brian Scalabrine played 19 minutes after missing the morning shootaround with symptoms of the flu. … The fans stood and cheered when the scoreboard showed the highlights and final score from the Bruins’ 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, which forced a seventh game in the new Boston Garden on Thursday night. … Coming off their best-shooting game of the playoffs — .528 in Game 4 — the Celtics shot just 36 percent through three quarters.