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NBA GAME OF THE DAY

Orlando holds on to defeat Boston

Magic wins, 86-79, but only after the Celtics erase all but three points of a 22-point deficit. Ray Allen misses a potential tying three-point attempt with 41 seconds left.

March 09, 2009|Associated Press

BOSTON — Dwight Howard had 18 points and 15 rebounds, and made two clinching free throws with 13.9 seconds left as the Orlando Magic defeated Boston, 86-79, on Sunday after the Celtics had rallied to cut a 22-point deficit to three.

Ray Allen had 17 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, scoring nine straight to make it 82-79 with 1:22 to play. But Allen hit the back of the rim on a three-point attempt from the left side that would have tied it with 41 seconds to play.

Orlando won its fourth straight and moved to within two games of second-place Boston in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Celtics lost two days after defeating Cleveland to grab the tiebreaker edge in the East.

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