Despite Rajon Rondo’s 19 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, four steals and five turnovers, the Celtics fell to the Orlando Magic 83-75 to force a seventh game in the series.
Western Kentucky product Courtney Lee scored six points and grabbed two boards in 22 minutes off the bench and Dwight Howard led the Magic with 23 points, 22 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
Boston put only 13 points on the board in the fourth quarter (29 in the second half) and will now host Orlando on Sunday night at 8pm ET on TNT. The Celtics are 17-3 all-time in Game Seven’s at home.
Chuck Hayes, the 6′ 6″ center from the University of Kentucky again got the start and battled with foul trouble. Hayes finished with just two points on 1-for-1 shooting, five boards, two assists and a steal in 30 minutes of action. Purdue graduate Carl Landry came in and gave 27 minutes off the bench, going 6-of-6 from the field and 3-of-6 from the free throw line for 15 points to go with his nine rebounds and two blocked shots, helping the Rockets lead wire to wire and force a deciding Game 7. Houston won by the final margin of 95-80.
The Rockets are +29 points when Hayes is on the floor thus far in the series.
Game 7 is at 3:30pm ET on Sunday on ABC.