Celtics escape against Magic for Game 5 win

BY foxsports • May 13, 2009

The Magic lost their touch in a series some of their players believe should already be over.

The Celtics keep finding theirs just in time.

The defending NBA champions wiped out a 10-point deficit in the last five minutes and won Game 5 92-88 on Tuesday night for a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series. If the Celtics lose Game 6 in Orlando on Thursday, they will host Game 7 on Sunday.

"I know we won a lot of Game 7s, but anything can happen and our mindset is to go down to Orlando and just get the win by any means necessary," Paul Pierce said. "We're not a team that gives games away and (says) hopefully we win it at home."

The Celtics beat both Atlanta and Cleveland in seven games last year and went on to their 17th title. In the opening round this year, they beat Chicago in Game 7 after losing three games in overtime.

Then they came through at the end of the last two games against Orlando, winning Game 4 95-94 on Glen Davis' long jumper at the buzzer and on Tuesday when their defense held Orlando to just three free throws in the last five minutes.

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"We're grinders and we just (ground) this game out," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "They believe in each other. They're very close. All the experiences from last year (have) helped this year."

They've succeeded without Kevin Garnett, who has missed the entire playoffs with a knee injury and isn't expected back this season. And backup power forward Leon Powe is out for the postseason with a knee injury he sustained against the Bulls.

Yet the Magic can't finish Boston off, even though they'd be headed for the conference finals against Cleveland if Davis had missed his shot and they hadn't let the Celtics go on a 13-0 run to take an 88-85 lead Tuesday.

Should the series be over already?

"From our standpoint, yes," Orlando's Anthony Johnson said. "We feel like we have the better team and we've outplayed them for the most part but we haven't finished ballgames."

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