ORLANDO -- Is this series about to deliver on its great expectations?
Ask the Orlando Magic. After producing a trio of stinkers to trail the underdog Celtics 3-0 in the Eastern finals, the Magic responded at long last with a heartfelt performance to win Game 4 in overtime 96-92 Monday.
It wasn't their best game, and so they hope it serves as bridge to a Game 5 of continued hard play and better execution Wednesday. The Magic won by holding Boston to 42.1-percent shooting, even as Orlando was giving the ball away 19 times. "We still have to find a way to cut the turnovers against a very good defense," said Magic coach
The opening minutes may reveal the outcome, as the winner of each first quarter has prevailed in every game of this series. The Celtics will need better ball movement than they demonstrated in Game 4, when they failed to create more assists than Orlando for the first time this series (19 for each team).
They'll hope also for better health from point guard
The foundation for any extended Magic comeback in this series will be provided by Nelson and
"We talked about playing with more effort and a sense of desperation," explained Redick of the Magic turnaround. "We could have quit, and there were some times during the game [Monday] where we could have gave in, but we didn't. We talked about it even after: This is not a team that wants to just win one game and say 'All right, we didn't get swept.' We want to win the series.
"There wasn't a lot of rah-rah, there wasn't a lot of rhetoric, there wasn't a lot of clichés going around the locker room. I could sense we were ready to play. It wasn't about yelling at guys. It was let's go out and play and be who we are."
Is there more than they've shown? After
But don't count on it.