Rondo drives Celtics past Magic in heated East affair

BOSTON (Reuters) - Point guard Rajon Rondo turned into a scorer and paced the Boston Celtics to a 91-80 triumph over their Eastern Conference rivals, the Orlando Magic, on Sunday.

Rondo, the NBA's assists leader, scored 11 of his team-high 26 points in the third quarter when the East-leading Celtics (38-12) took control to beat the Magic for the second time in the third and final meeting between the teams.

Dwight Howard had 28 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando (32-20) but the visitors fell behind by 15 points in the third quarter and lost for the third time in four games.

Boston reserve Marquis Daniels suffered a neck injury in the second quarter and was taken off the court on a stretcher and sent to the hospital.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Ginsburg)