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Celtics hold off Magic

NBA GAME OF THE DAY

Boston uses tough defense in an 86-77 win, but Garnett is injured late.

December 26, 2009
  • Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett reacts after a teammate was called for an offensive foul on Friday during an 86-77 victory over Orlando.
Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett reacts after a teammate was called… (Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated…)

Orlando, Fla. — Rajon Rondo had 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, and the Boston Celtics bullied the Orlando Magic with strong defense in an 86-77 victory Friday.

Ray Allen had 18 points and Tony Allen scored 16 in place of the injured Paul Pierce for the Celtics, who rolled to their 14th win in the last 15 games.

"This was definitely a benchmark game for us because we have been talking about this game for a long time," Allen said. "We did what we had to do and took care of the game."

The only big blow for the Celtics came in the final minutes, when Kevin Garnett jumped to block a shot by Vince Carter, only to land awkwardly and go tumbling to the ground. He hobbled back to the bench holding his back and didn't return.

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said Garnett mostly had a bruise on his head. Garnett said he was fine.

Carter finished with 27 points, and Rashard Lewis had 19 points for the Magic. Orlando had no answer to Boston's relentless pressure, which held Dwight Howard to five points.

-- associated press

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