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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Celtics 112, Magic 94

BOSTON — Rajon Rondo had 15 points, 18 assists and 11 rebounds for his third triple-double of the playoffs, and Eddie House scored a career high-shattering 31 points on Wednesday night to lead the Boston Celtics to a 112-94 victory over the Orlando Magic and even the Eastern Conference semifinalsDwight Howard had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Rashard Lewis had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who stole Game 1 and home-court advantage Monday night despite blowing almost all of a 28-point lead late in the game.

Game 3 is Friday night in Orlando.

Rondo had 12 assists without a turnover at the half and finished one assist short of his career high. The only time the 6-1 point guard has had more than 18 assists was the triple-overtime Game 6 of the first-round series against Chicago in which he played 57 1/2 minutes.

"He picked up where he left off last game,” House said of Rondo. "He had a lot of energy on both ends of the court.”

Ray Allen scored 22 points and Kendrick Perkins had 16 points and nine rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who avoided heading to Orlando down 0-2 and assured themselves of at least one more game in Boston.

Paul Pierce of the Celtics scored three points in 16 minutes, hitting a 3-pointer for the first basket of the game, but he picked up two fouls in 50 seconds early in the first quarter and headed to the bench. He played just 2 more minutes in the second quarter before picking up his third foul, and lasted 4:07 into the third before drawing his fourth and sitting back down.

By the time he came back in — to give House a rest — Boston was nursing a double-digit lead in the last 4 minutes and the crowd was chanting "Eddie!” for the backup who helped them open a 26-point lead and coast to victory.

House went 11 for 14 from the field, making all four of his 3-point attempts and adding four 2-pointers from at least 20 feet in 27 minutes — the most he’s played in a playoff game since he was a rookie with Miami in 2001. In the last three games, House is 18 for 24 from the field and 10 for 12 from 3-point range.

by the associated press

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