Celtics pull even on buzzer beater
ORLANDO, Fla. — Glen Davis rolled off the pick and into the corner, left open for a shot he was never supposed to take and in a position he was never supposed to be in.
The ball came and the clock ticked down, and the "Big Baby" who has replaced injured All-Star Kevin Garnett let the ball fly over a charging Rashard Lewis.
It was a swish that changed the series for Boston.
Davis made a 21-foot jumper as time expired to help the Celtics hold off a furious rally and defeat the Orlando Magic 95-94 on Sunday night to even their Eastern Conference semifinal at two games apiece. A spot he never expected to be in until Garnett went down with a season-ending knee injury, Davis relished his newfound celebrity.
"This is really neat," he said. "This is my first time, so bear with me."
And he looked like a veteran.
Davis took the pass on the wing from Paul Pierce, made the jumper and ran to half-court. He was mobbed by teammates, waving his hands in the air and leaving the Orlando home crowd silenced.
"I didn't see his emotions," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I was having an emotional highjack at the moment myself."
Davis' jumper followed a pair of free throws by Lewis that put the Magic ahead with 11.3 seconds to play. Davis also hit a 15-foot jumper in the final minute and finished with 21 points.
Dwight Howard had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Lewis scored 22 for the Magic. Game 5 is Tuesday in Boston.
Perhaps the only downside on a series-changing win for Boston was that center Kendrick Perkins said he aggravated his left shoulder. He didn't know when it happened and said he would have it evaluated Monday.
The Celtics went ahead by nine points with about 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Pierce. Boston's All-Star forward had 27 points, but would battle foul trouble the rest of the way, helping Orlando trim the lead slowly.
But it was the final play that changed the series.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said his players carried out the last play defensively exactly how he had designed, taking the ball out of the hands of Pierce and Ray Allen, and put the responsibility for his team's failures on himself.
"The only guy who made a mistake on the last play was me," Van Gundy said.
"Big-shot Baby Davis," Howard said, still shaking his head in disbelief.