Celtics making case loud, clear

May 23, 2010|By Tribune newspapers

If he so chooses, Paul Pierce could Tweet some taunts about a sweep and not blame hackers for it this time.

The Celtics moved one victory away from fulfilling Pierce's tainted Tweet — "Anybody got a BROOM?" — with a dominating 94-71 victory over the Magic Saturday night at raucous TD BankNorth Garden. It was their sixth straight triumph in the NBA playoffs.

Game 4 is scheduled for Monday night, which gives the Magic two days to orchestrate a search party and find the missing offense of Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis.

The Celtics' smothering defense limited the Magic to 36.9 percent shooting and those two shooters to a combined 11 points.

They say defense wins championships, a subject in which the Celtics are extremely well-versed.

"You have to have confidence," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "But we want to be humble, and we haven't achieved anything."

The Magic have achieved less. Even the switch of the more physical Matt Barnes onto Pierce. Pierce scored the game's first basket, two of his 15 points as five Celtics hit double figures.

For a team already in a deep deficit, the Magic wrote an instructional manual on how not to start a game. It missed four shots and committed three turnovers before Lewis ended a 7-0 Celtics run with a baseline jumper close to four minutes after tipoff.

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