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Celtics try to shut down Magic again

Shooting for just their second three-game winning streak of the season, the hobbled Boston Celtics will take on the Orlando Magic for the second time this week Thursday in central Florida.

The Celtics defeated Orlando the last time out in an 87-56 triumph from TD Garden on Monday thanks to a horrible shooting performance from the visiting team. Boston held the Magic to a franchise-worst 56 points on 24.6 percent shooting and scored 24 points off 25 turnovers. The lowest field goal percentage that the Celtics have allowed in a game came back during the 1956-57 season against the Philadelphia Warriors, allowing them to shoot 24.6 percent on November 22, 1956.

Paul Pierce had 19 points and seven assists for the Celtics, who have won two straight and three of four games since a five-game slide.

"I mean, defensively that was as good as you can get," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers.

Orlando made just 4-of-16 three-pointers and Dwight Howard was the only player to score in double figures with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Former Celtics forward Glen Davis made his return to Boston and recorded six points and 11 rebounds.

Brandon Bass had 19 points and Kevin Garnett scored 14 with 10 rebounds in a winning effort. Boston, which shot a perfect 19-for-19 from the free throw line, last won three in a row during a four-game run from Dec. 30-Jan. 4 this season and hopes to build on its 2-4 road ledger tonight. Garnett is four rebounds short of tying Jerry Lucas for 14th on the all-time rebounds list.

Celtics veteran guard Ray Allen missed the game due to a left ankle sprain and is expected to miss Thursday's contest. Guard Rajon Rondo has been sidelined the last three games (2-1) and is listed as probable. In other injury news for Boston, guard Keyon Dooling (knee) and center Jermaine O'Neal (knee) are both questionable, while forward Mickael Pietrus (shoulder) is expected to miss tonight's contest. O'Neal and Howard got into a scuffle in the third quarter and were whistled for technical fouls.

Boston is unbeaten in the past three matchups against Orlando, but has lost two straight, nine of 11 and 10 of its last 13 games as the visitor in this series.

Orlando will play 10 of its next 14 games at Amway Arena, where it is 6-2 this season, and split a recent two-game road trip in Boston and Indiana. The Magic rebounded from a dreadful shooting display in Beantown to hand the Pacers their first home loss with a 102-83 triumph on Tuesday.

Ryan Anderson was held scoreless against the Celtics, but bounced with 24 points in Indianapolis.

"That's the beauty of this league," said Anderson. "We have back-to-back games and opportunities where we can redeem ourselves...These are important comeback games. That's the way we can play every night."

Howard added 14 points and nine rebounds, surpassing Nick Anderson as Orlando's all-time leading scorer (10,657 points), while J.J. Redick finished with 15 points. Howard is aiming for his 13th double-double of the season.

The Magic, who shot 45.8 percent and sank 13-of-32 three-pointers, are in the midst of alternating home and away games over the next six games. Davis and Hedu Turkoglu scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, in the recent win.