The Boston Celtics won game 1 of the 2010 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference finals on Sunday, May 16, against the Orlando Magic in Orlando, 92-88.
Boston’s top performer was Paul Pierce with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Ray Allen had 25 points and 7 rebounds, Kevin Garnett had 8 points and 11 rebounds and Rasheed Wallace came off the bench with 13 points for the Boston Celtics.
Vince Carter was the top performer for Orlando with 23 points and 5 rebounds. Jameer Nelson had 20 points and 9 rebounds and Dwight Howard had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Orlando Magic.
“I honestly say we lost ourselves,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “I think we’ve found ourselves again.”
“There were stretches in the season, we know each other so well now, where we were becoming less patient with each other,” Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics said. “We were getting on each other a little too much. We can take it, but we respected each other.
“When we started the playoffs, we said teams are going to hit us, they’re going to attack us. But when somebody scores on us, which they will, we go get the ball out and come back.”
Losing is an unfamiliar feeling for the Orlando Magic. The last time the Magic lost a game was April 2 against the San Antonio Spurs. The last time they lost a game at home was March 14.
Some say that the amount of time off the Magic had after sweeping the Atlanta Hawks may have had something to do with their loss Sunday, calling them “rusty.”
“I don’t think it was rusty. Just anxious,” Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic said. “We dug ourselves a hole, and it was tough to get back from.”
Orlando Coach Stan Van Gundy was going take their time off as an acceptable excuse either.
“The schedule’s the schedule and I don’t think it had anything to do with that,” Van Gundy said. “I think it had more to do with their defense and I didn’t think that we played with either great energy or very good focus. No, I’m not going to take that as an excuse. We just didn’t play well, but let me make this clear, a lot of it had to do with their defense.”
“Our guys aren’t going to like fall apart,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Hell, they got down 20 in this game and they didn’t collapse. That’s not our team. This is all about winning. Our team doesn’t have to prove they can bounce back from adversity and all of that. They’ve done all that.”
“I think it was a wake-up call that we really needed,” Vince Carter of the Orlando Magic said. “Now it’s what are we going to do about it? How do we respond?”
Game two of this series will take place Tuesday, May 18 at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.