Magic no match for the Celtics

Associated Press
Published February 5, 2005

BOSTON - Delonte West and Walter McCarty gave the Celtics a big lift.

Raef LaFrentz scored seven of his 19 in a 20-4 fourth-quarter run, and West and McCarty hit key 3-pointers in reserve roles to help the Celtics beat the Magic 112-100 on Friday night.

With Boston's offense sputtering early in the fourth quarter, coach Doc Rivers called upon West and McCarty. Neither had played, but they quickly made contributions.

"This was as much of a team win as we've had all year, with all the different guys we had doing different things out there," Rivers said.

The Magic led 94-85 early in the final quarter, but Boston went on an 11-1 run in the next 4:47 - capped by LaFrentz's layup with 5:06 to play. McCarty and West made 3-pointers during the spree.

After the Magic grabbed the lead on Turkoglu's 3-pointer with 4:20 left, Boston scored the next nine to take a 105-98 lead. LaFrentz had an alley-oop dunk and a 3-pointer during the run.

McCarty's 3-pointer with 1:03 left sealed it, making it 108-100.

"Delonte was easy because I didn't want to put Gary (Payton) in there yet," Rivers said. "The Walter decision was a bit tougher because they hadn't gone small yet, but I wanted to stretch us offensively."

West's 3-pointer started Boston's spree, and McCarty's tied it at 94 with 8:08 to play.

Paul Pierce scored 18 on a 5-for-16 night, Payton added 17 points and Ricky Davis had 16 for the Celtics, 3-0 against Orlando this season.

Steve Francis scored 26 for Orlando before fouling out with 2:39 to play. Hedo Turkoglu added 22 points, and Tony Battie had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

"I just think they have our number," Magic coach Johnny Davis said.

Boston's other two wins were by 18 and 16 points.

"They've smacked us three times now," Battie said. "Maybe if we see them in the playoffs they will think that they have our number and relax a bit."