Wed, Jan 25, 2012 - Page 7 News List

NBA: Celtics crush an ice-cold Magic

ALL-TIME LOW:Dwight Howard was the only Orlando player to reach double figures and his frustration boiled over when he got into a ruckus with Jermaine O’Neal

Reuters and AP, BOSTON

Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket between the Orlando Magic’s Hedo Turkoglu, left, and Dwight Howard in the first half of their NBA game in Boston, Massachusetts, on Monday.

Photo: Reuters

The Boston Celtics forced the Orlando Magic into a franchise-worst offensive performance in a 87-56 rout on Monday, despite the home team missing several key players.

Setting an all-time Magic low for points and field goals, visiting Orlando (11-5) were held to just 20 second-half points and 24 percent shooting.

Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass led Boston with 19 points each, but the Celtics leaned on their defense in the absence of point guard Rajon Rondo, who missed his third straight game with a sprained wrist, and Ray Allen, out with a sore ankle.

The Celtics were also without injured reserves Mickael Pietrus, Chris Wilcox and Keyon Dooling. Guard Avery Bradley started in place of Rondo and filled in nicely.

“His defense was great,” Boston coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “Offensively, we’re not running a lot of point guard stuff with him. Really, Paul [Pierce] is the point guard on offense.”

Dwight Howard managed 18 points and 14 rebounds, but he made just four of his 15 shots and was the only Magic player to reach double figures.

Frustration boiled over for Howard in the third quarter when he got into a shoving match with Jermaine O’Neal and both big men received technical fouls.

Boston (7-9) led by 10 at halftime, but they took control by outscoring Orlando 41-20 in the second half.Kevin Garnett added 14 points, 10

rebounds and five steals for the Celtics, who have now won three of four following a five-game slide.

The Magic, who entered the game having won six of seven, made a season-high 25 turnovers.

MAVERICKS 93, SUNS 87

In Dallas, Shawn Marion scored a season-high 29 points as short-handed Dallas stretched their home winning streak to seven games with a victory over Phoenix.

Marion, who entered with five three-pointers all season, went four of six from behind the arc and 11 of 20 from the field.

Top scorer Dirk Nowitzki and key reserve Vince Carter remain out for defending NBA champions the Mavericks (11-7), who returned home from a 2-2 road trip.

Grant Hill scored a season-high 19 points for Phoenix, while Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 17 rebounds, his eighth consecutive double-double. Shannon Brown added 14 points for the Suns, who have lost six of eight.

BULLS 110, NETS 95

In Chicago, Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton each scored 22 points to lead banged-up Chicago to an easy victory over New Jersey.

Hamilton set season highs in points and assists (10). Rose added eight assists and hung with Deron Williams after missing four games with a sprained left big toe.

Joakim Noah chipped in with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who cruised to their fourth straight win.

Carlos Boozer had 14 points and nine rebounds, while Ronnie Brewer (11 points) filled in nicely with Luol Deng sidelined by a sprained left wrist.

Williams had 16 points and 10 assists for New Jersey. Jordan Farmar scored 22, but the Nets were overwhelmed.

76ERS 103, WIZARDS 83

In Philadelphia, Elton Brand had 17 points and nine rebounds, while Jrue Holiday also scored 17 to lead Philadelphia over Washington.

Jodie Meeks added 15 points and Andre Iguodala had 11 assists. The Sixers led by 30 in the first half and easily cruised to their third win of the season against the hapless Wizards.

Jordan Crawford led the Wizards (2-15) with 17 points.

They lost their third straight game and they remain the NBA’s only winless road team at 0-7.

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