Celtics go home with 2-0 lead

Posted: May 19, 2010

Paul Pierce scored 28 points, Rajon Rondo had 25 and the Boston Celtics again avoided a late collapse to take a commanding lead in the Eastern Conference final with a 95-92 victory over the Orlando Magic last night.

Boston bullied and bruised its way to a 2-0 series lead on the road.

Dwight Howard had 30 points, and Vince Carter and J.J. Redick scored 16 apiece for the Magic, who overcame an 11-point deficit to take a brief lead in the fourth quarter.

Jameer Nelson's three-point attempt airballed at the buzzer.

The Magic argued calls, plenty of them. Vince Carter waved his arms in disbelief when called for his third foul, incensing referee Bill Kennedy enough to call a technical. They argued with each other at times, Redick and Howard appearing to exchange words when Redick threw the ball away in the third quarter. They smacked their hands in disgust, like Rashard Lewis did after a rebound evaded his grasp.

It was an Orlando ungluing, and it came at the worst time.

Game 3 is Saturday night in Boston.

"Our fans won't let us relax," Pierce said. "We're going to try and close it out in four games."

Noteworthy

* Denver coach George Karl is slowly recovering from throat cancer, according to Kim Van Deraa, Karl's life partner and mother of their 5-year-old daughter. She wrote in her blog that Karl's energy level is rising, although he is still using a feeding tube for most of his nutrition.

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