Celtics Advance To NBA Championship

Robert P. Stephens | 5/30/2010, 9:57 a.m.

The Boston Celtics solidified their spot in the 2010 NBA Championship with a 96-84 win over the Orlando Magic Friday night before crowd of 18,624 at the TD Garden in Boston.

" The first thing we said when we got into the locker room is this is where we thought we would be," Celtic Coach Doc Rivers said at the post game press conference. " So don't be surprised. This is what we talked about before the season started. That stretch the last month, we formed a plan, and I thought it was the right plan," Rivers said.

Obviously, it didn't look right because we were losing games, but guys were resting and conditioning, and I thought that was the only chance we had."
" Those guys played like they wanted to win the championship the whole series," said Orlando center Dwight Howard during the post game press conference. " That's why they're in the position they're in now.

" To win four straight games, you've got to be perfect," said Orlando forward Matt Barnes, and we weren't perfect tonite." he said at Orlando's post game press conference.

The Celtics jumped out to a 30-19 lead in the first quarter and kept the Magic playing catch up the entire game. The Celtics were led by Paul Pierce's 31 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assist.

" We never take this moments for granted, especially at this point in my career where its winding down," Pierce said at his post game press conference.

" I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. To get back here is a great accomplishment, but even greater if we win another one."

Ray Allen came alive with 20 points and 4 rebounds. Rajon Rondo chipped in with 16 points, 6 assist, and 3 rebounds. Nate Robinson came off the bench scoring 13 points in 13 minutes of play playing a important role in the Celtic win. Kevin Garnett contributed 10 points and 5 rebounds.

" This starting five has never lost a series ever," Rivers said. " We believe that coming into the season, and we just kept believing."
" The one thing that Doc said all year was, " I like this team. I like the guys on this tea.. We can win it with the guys that are on this team," Allen said

The Magic were led by Dwight Howard who finished the night with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Vince Carter chipped in with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Jameer Nelson had a tough night shooting 5-14 from the floor and committing 5 turnovers. The NBA Finals start Thursday.

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