Sports Outside the Beltway

All net- Orlando beats Boston 117-96 to take 2-1 series lead

Could Florida’s other NBA franchise make it to the championship finals? From AP-

Into the stands. Off the backboard or in another player’s face, Dwight Howard sent Boston Celtics’ shots everywhere.

Howard had 17 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to lift the Orlando Magic to a 117-96 victory over the Celtics on Friday night and a 2-1 series lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal.

“Just the whole team stepped up the defensive intensity,” said Howard, the NBA’s defensive player of the year. “It starts with me. I have to do that every night if we want to be successful.”

Rashard Lewis had 28 points, and Hedo Turkoglu scored 24 for Orlando, which played without starting point guard Rafer Alston. He was suspended by the NBA for slapping Eddie House in the back of the head in Game 2.

The Magic shot a franchise record 59.1 from the field last night. I think Orlando can beat Boston, but they won’t get by LeBron James and Cleveland.

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