Dwight Howard returned from his one-game suspension to get 16 points and 22 rebounds Monday night and help the Orlando Magic hold off the late-charging Boston Celtics 95-90 in the opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Magic opened a 28-point lead early in the second half before Boston cut the deficit to 91-87 in the final 2 minutes. The Celtics had several chances to come within one possession - the best Ray Allen's 3-pointer that rimmed out with 43 seconds left.
Paul Pierce made a 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left to make it a three-point game, but J.J. Redick went 4-for-4 from the line in the last 14 seconds to ice it.
Pierce scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Rajon Rondo had 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.