ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Boston Celtics will be the first to admit that they aren’t playing their best defensive basketball right now.
But having two of the league’s best closers and one of its top point guards certainly helps with the rough patches.
Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Paul Pierce added 23 points and Rajon Rondo was one rebound shy of a triple double with 15 points and 16 assists as the Boston Celtics outlasted the Orlando Magic 116-110 in overtime Sunday night.
Pierce had 14 points after halftime, and said that despite his team’s recent struggles defensively, it was a much needed character building kind of victory.
"That’s what it’s all about," he said. "Finding a way to win. Not feeling sorry for ourselves late about giving up a pretty good lead. And just finding a way to grind it out. And that’s what we did."
J.J. Redick scored 21 and Jameer Nelson had 20 for the Magic, whose loss snapped a two-game win streak.
Orlando led by as many as seven in the fourth quarter, but had 19 turnovers that led to 23 Celtics’ points. It was the seventh straight game in which the Magic have had at least 15 turnovers. It was also the latest in a string of games in which their own miscues cost them a win.
"Overall I thought we didn’t play very well. I thought they played great," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "They played hard. It’s like I said before the game, if you don’t come in this game and play them and don’t think hard basketball, you’re not going to win."