Celts no home cinch

Associated Press

WALTHAM, Mass. — The original Boston Garden is long gone, and so is the fear in opponents' eyes when they play the Celtics on their home floor.

So don't expect the Magic to be too intimidated in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"We've won there before, and there's no reason we can't do it again," Magic forward Rashard Lewis said Friday. "Boston beat us twice on our court. Why can't we do it to them?"

The Celtics took the first two games in Orlando, earning a chance to advance without having to leave town again. Game 3 is at the new Garden on Saturday, Game 4 on Monday.

But home-court advantage doesn't mean what it used to for Boston. The Celtics were 24-17 at home this year, tied for the worst of all the playoff teams.

Orlando and Atlanta were the only two teams to win twice in Boston this year. The Magic also remember coming to town in last year's playoffs, when they beat Boston twice — including the Celtics' first-ever loss at home in a seventh game — to gain the conference finals.

This year's problem: The Celtics have never blown a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series, and the Magic have never come back after losing the first two games.

Magic coach's Stan Van Gundy's take on those facts: "What is the implication in terms of how we would play? The answer is: nothing."

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad