Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Game 4: 10 C's-Magic postgame nuggets
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- Here are 10 facts and figures after the Orlando Magic defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Monday night at TD Garden (first seven nuggets researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):
1. The Magic-Celtics game on Monday was the 70th playoff game in 2010, but it was the first overtime game of this year's playoffs. Every playoff year that has had at least 50 games has had at least two overtime games.
2. The Magic, who won all four games of their series against both Charlotte and Atlanta earlier in this postseason, avoided being swept by Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Only one team has ever won two or more series sweeps and then in turn was swept in a series any time later in that same postseason. The Lakers did that in 1989, sweeping Portland (3-0), Seattle (4-0) and Phoenix (4-0), before losing all four games to Detroit in the NBA Finals.
3. Dwight Howard scored 32 points with 16 rebounds in Orlando's win on Monday. He's the first player with a 30/15 (points/rebounds) postseason game against the Celtics since Patrick Ewing -- now a Magic assistant coach -- had 33 points and 19 rebounds against them on May 2, 1990.
4. Stan Van Gundy picked up the 44th win of his postseason career, which matches the total number of playoff wins his brother, Jeff, an ESPN analyst calling this series, had in his career as a head coach.
5. Rajon Rondo has led the Celtics (or tied for the lead) in assists in each of the team's last 17 postseason games dating back to the 2009 playoffs. That is the longest such streak by a Celtics player since Bob Cousy led the team in assists in 17 straight postseason games spanning the 1959, 1960 and 1961 playoffs.
6. Stan Van Gundy becomes just the second visiting head coach in NBA history to win two potential elimination games in Boston. Fred Schaus (with the Lakers in 1963 and 1966) was the other.
7. Dwight Howard is averaging 16.3 rebounds per game in six games played in which his team has faced playoff elimination in his career. Only three players in NBA history are averaging more rebounds per game in potential elimination games than Howard (minimum: five games): Bill Russell (26.6), Wilt Chamberlain (25.7) and Walt Bellamy (17.1).
8. Like the Celtics, the Boston Bruins lost Game 4 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers during the NHL playoffs. What's more, the Magic dressed in the same locker room at the TD Garden that the Flyers did when starting the process of rallying from a 3-0 deficit.
9. The Celtics lost for the first time this postseason when allowing less than 100 points. Boston was previously 11-0 when holding teams below the century mark. The 96 points were the most the Celtics allowed since giving up 124 in Game 3 against the Cavaliers.
10. Overtime in the playoffs hasn't been particularly friendly for the Celtics, who have lost eight of their last 10 postseason games that spilled into an extra session.