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Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012
Shooting woes bury Orlando
ORLANDO, Florida — The Orlando Magic trudged out of Boston this week, toting only embarrassment following a lopsided 31-point loss to the Celtics.
For a while it appeared as though the Magic would return the favor. Instead, the Celtics took advantage of Orlando's fourth-quarter meltdown and erased a 27-point deficit to hand the Magic an even more humbling defeat on their home floor, 91-83 on Thursday night.
Paul Pierce had 24 points and 10 assists, and E'Twaun Moore added 16 points off the bench to help Boston beat Orlando for the second time this week.
Pierce and Moore had 10 points each in the fourth quarter to surge past a Magic team that led by 11 points entering the fourth quarter before shooting 2-for-17 from the field in the final 12 minutes. They scored just eight points in the period.
"Everybody was big," Pierce said. "Obviously, when you got a rookie (Moore) who hasn't played too much to come in and do the things he did — that's big for us.
"This team decided to stand up and fight."
Moore said Boston needed a game like this.
"It's definitely a confidence builder for our whole team," Moore said. "Knowing we can play with some of the best teams out there."
Dwight Howard led the Magic with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Jason Richardson added 13 points, and Ryan Anderson had 12.
The Celtics have won three straight for just the second time this season. It also was their fourth consecutive victory over the Magic, dating to last season.
Since a season-best, five-game winning streak, Orlando has lost three times in five games, including a 31-point defeat at Boston on Monday.
"We thought it was going to be easy after the first two quarters," Howard said. "We can't allow that to happen. We've got to change. We have to change what we do, and guys have to know their roles and do it. That's just the bottom line."
The Celtics disrupted the Magic's offensive flow in the fourth, so much so that it led to a pair of late, frustration technical fouls on Howard and Anderson.
Clippers 98, Grizzlies 91
In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin scored 20 points, Chris Paul added 18 points and seven assists in his second game back from injury, and the first-place Clippers hung on in the fourth quarter for a victory over Memphis.
Mo Williams scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Griffin added nine rebounds and eight assists as Los Angeles maintained a narrow lead throughout the final period.
Rudy Gay scored 24 points for the Grizzlies.
Phoenix rout Albirex
Six Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix players scored in double figures as the hosts earned a 90-70 win over the visiting Niigata Albirex BB on Friday night in the bj-league.
Wayne Arnold paced the Phoenix (17-10 overall, 3-0 since Lawrence Blackledge joined the squad). Blackledge, who began the season with the Osaka Evessa, had 12 points and six blocked shots for the two-time defending champions.
Floor leader Jermaine Dixon added 14 points, eight assists and three steals for Hamamatsu, while Shoji Nakanishi scored 13, Jeffrey Parmer chipped in with 12 and Atsuya Ota had 10.
The Phoenix took a 44-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Niigata, which entered the game with a 2-0 record against Hamamatsu this season, fell to 16-11.
Nile Murry scored a team-high 20 points for the Albirex. Erron Maxey had an 18-point outing and Kimitake Sato contributed 11 points.