For nearly a decade now, the Orlando Magic have been playing their home games at the Amway Center. Unfortunately, the Magic haven’t quite had the success they did at the old Amway Arena.
The final game played in the old building was a Magic victory and it came on this day 10 years ago. The victory was a significant one.
After dropping the first two games of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals at home to the Boston Celtics, there was no guarantee that Orlando would see its home building a final time. The Magic were blasted in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series, but rallied for an overtime win in Game 4 to avoid the sweep and send the series back to Amway Arena for Game 5 on May 26, 2010.
Down three games to one, the home crowd would help propel the Magic to one last victory at Amway Arena. That came by a 113-92 margin.
The Celtics scored the game’s first five points, but wouldn’t have a lead past the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Magic pushed the lead to 14, thanks to a 9-2 run midway through. Boston however, would not go away.
The Celtics climbed to within eight at halftime at 57-49; after the Magic pushed the lead to 13 late in the third, they closed on a 4-0 spurt to pull within nine, 84-75, heading into the fourth. The final quarter would be dominated by Orlando.
The Magic would shoot 8-for-15 in the final quarter while holding Boston to just 17 points. Rashard Lewis scored the first seven points of the quarter for the Magic to push the lead to double digits and from there, the contest never got closer than 10.
After back-to-back three-pointers by Boston forward Rasheed Wallace made it 96-86 with less than seven minutes to play, the Magic answered with an 8-0 run to put the contest away. Guard Jameer Nelson knocked down a pair of treys during the run, which were sandwiched around a Mickael Pietrus dunk. The Celtics managed just two field goals the rest of the way.
Nelson finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the Magic, who shot 52 percent from the field and 13 of 25 from deep. Dwight Howard added 21 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Lewis and guard J.J. Redick each tallied 14 points in the victory.
For Boston, Wallace led the way with 21 points off the bench on 7-for-9 shooting. Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce added 19 and 18 points, respectively, in the loss.
Unfortunately, the season would be prolonged for just a game. Back in Boston, the Celtics eliminated the Magic with a 96-84 victory in Game 6. The Magic haven’t advanced past the first round of the playoffs since.
Still, Orlando avoided the sweep and gave the fans one last victory in the only building the Magic had ever called home to that point. That win came on this day a decade ago.