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Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011

Rondo's tricks prove too much for Magic

BOSTON (AP) Rajon Rondo kept scoring inside while the Orlando Magic continued missing from outside.

News photo
Hocus Pocus: Celtics guard Rajon Rondo dribbles between Magic center Dwight Howard (12) and guard Jameer Nelson on Sunday in Boston. Rondo had 26 points in a 91-80 win. AP PHOTO

Boston's pass-first point guard drove aggressively to the hoop and scored 26 points to lead the Celtics to a 91-80 win on Sunday.

"He totally dominated us," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said, "got where he wanted to go anytime he wanted to go."

With Rondo scoring 11 points, the Celtics extended a 46-43 halftime lead to 70-61 after the third quarter. They led by eight to 16 points the rest of the way.

Paul Pierce had 18 points and Kevin Garnett scored 16 for the Celtics, who improved to 23-4 at home. Dwight Howard had 28 points — only six in the second half — and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who lost for the fifth time in eight games despite playing tight defense on Pierce and Ray Allen.

"They didn't leave Ray or Paul's body. I tried to be aggressive," Rondo said. "The lane just opened up a lot more even though Dwight was down there."

The Celtics rallied after a scary injury to backup guard Marquis Daniels with 11:01 left in the second quarter. He was taken off the court on a stretcher after a collision with Gilbert Arenas and Orlando ahead 24-17.

Dr. Brian McKeon, the Celtics' team physician, said Daniels bruised his spinal cord. Danny Ainge, the team's president of basketball operations, said Daniels had full function and, as a best case, would miss one to two months.

The injury helped the Celtics "a lot," Rondo said. "It's crazy to say you have to wait for something to happen to get a boost. That's how it is."

Boston led by three at halftime and stretched that to 70-55 with 3:36 left in the third quarter. At that point, the Celtics had made 9 of their 10 shots in the period while the Magic had hit just 4 of 18.

"I just could not find anything for us to run to get a decent shot," Van Gundy said.

Heat 97, Clippers 79

In Miami, Dwyane Wade had 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as Miami beat the Clippers to stretch its winning streak to six games.

Chris Bosh scored 16, Eddie House added 15 and LeBron James had 12 points for Miami. The Heat started the fourth quarter on an 18-4 burst to pull away.

Knicks 117, 76ers 103

In New York, Amare Stoudemire matched his season high with 41 points as the Knicks beat Philadelphia to split a home-and-away series.

Rookie Landry Fields added a career-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as New York rebounded from a 100-98 loss Friday night in Philadelphia to snap a two-game losing streak and win for just the fourth time in 13 games.

Pacers 105, Nets 86

In Newark, N.J., Dahntay Jones scored a season-high 18 points as Indiana remained unbeaten in four games under interim coach Frank Vogel.

Mike Dunleavy added 17 points and hit a 3-pointer to ignite an early 10-point run that put the Pacers ahead for good.

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