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Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010

Big second-half surge powers Magic to win

BOSTON (AP) The Orlando Magic needed less than 48 hours to go from a terrible third quarter to a terrific one.

News photo
Passing the test: Orlando's Dwight Howard reacts after missing a shot against the Celtics during their game on Sunday. AP PHOTO

Vince Carter and Dwight Howard each scored nine points in that period to erase an 11-point halftime deficit, and the Magic went on to beat the Boston Celtics 96-89 on Sunday.

"In a matter of three days, I've seen the worst quarter we've had since I've been here in three years and the best now in three years," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said.

On Friday night, the Magic blew a 21-point lead and lost to the Washington Wizards 92-91 after being outscored 39-17 in the third quarter. On Sunday, they outscored the Celtics 36-11 in that period.

The Magic (34-17) moved into second place in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of the Celtics (32-17).

"We were upset about the way we played in the first half," said Howard, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds. After that, "we got stops and then we came down and hit some shots. And after that, we just kept it rolling."

Carter had a game-high 20 points and scored nine during a 19-0 rally that began after Rajon Rondo's 3-pointer gave the Celtics a 60-51 lead with 7:17 left in the third quarter — Boston's fourth and final field goal of the period. That surge wiped out a 51-40 halftime deficit and led to a 76-62 margin after the third quarter. The Magic stayed in front by at least five points the rest of the way as the Celtics did too much freelancing.

"We were getting what we deserved," Boston coach Doc Rivers said, "I love our team on paper, but we tend to be front-runners. When we get a good lead we relax and teams take advantage of it and then you're caught and it's tough to turn it back on."

Raptors 115, Kings 104

In Toronto, Chris Bosh had 36 points and 11 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani scored 22 points and the Raptors extended Sacramento's losing streak to six games.

Hedo Turkoglu and Antoine Wright each added 16 points as Toronto topped 100 points for the 16th consecutive game and won its seventh straight at home.

Kevin Martin scored 24 points and Spencer Hawes had 14 for the Kings, who have won just three of their past 20 and are 3-22 on the road.



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