Saturday, May 29, 2010
Game 6: Postgame nuggets
By Chris Forsberg
Here are six leftover facts and figures after the Boston Celtics defeated the Orlando Magic in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals Friday night at TD Garden (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):
1. The Celtics reached the NBA Finals after beating the team with the best record (Cavaliers) and team with the second-best record (Magic) during the regular season. Boston is only the second team in NBA history to beat the outright No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the league before reaching the Finals. The other team to accomplish this was the Rockets in 1995. Houston beat Utah (No. 2) and San Antonio (No. 1) before sweeping the Magic for the NBA title.
2. Paul Pierce had 31 points in the Celtics' series-clinching win over the Magic. It's the 14th time in his NBA career that he scored 30-or-more points in a playoff game. But his total of 13 rebounds in Game 6 vs. Orlando was his highest in any of those games.
3. Pierce finished the Eastern Conference finals with an average of 24.3 points per game, while shooting 51.2 percent on field goal attempts and 83.9 percent on free throw attempts. He became the first Celtics player to average at least 23 points in a playoff series, while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the line since both Larry Bird (26.4/51.0/86.8) and Kevin McHale (24.9/.631/.936) did it in a classic seven-game, second-round series against Dominique Wilkins and the Hawks in 1988.
4. Orlando held its opponents below 100 points in all 14 games of the 2010 playoffs. The last NBA team to not allow 100 points in any of its first 14 games of a playoff year was the Knicks in 1999. New York did not allow 100 points in any of its 20 games in that postseason.
5. The Magic scored 30.6 percent of their total points on 3-point field goals in this year's playoffs (414 of 1,352). Since the NBA instituted the 3-point shot in 1979-80, only two teams have scored more than 30 percent of their total points from beyond the 3-point line in a single playoff season: Golden State in 2007 (31.2 percent) and Phoenix in 1997 (30.5 percent).
6. Dwight Howard was the first player with three straight 20-point, 10-rebound games when his team was facing elimination in each contest since Dirk Nowitzki did it last postseason.