ORLANDO, May 19- Paul Pierce scored 28 points and Rajon Rondo finished with 25 as Boston took a 2-0 series lead by edging Orlando 95-92 in their NBA semi-final series on Tuesday."We’re going to try and close it out in four games," Pierce said. "Just think our mindset was to be ready for the type of intensity they would bring after losing at home.
"We know the Magic are a talented team and we won’t take these two wins for granted."
The Magic, who had won 14 consecutive games heading into the Eastern Conference series, were held to just 39 percent shooting from the field Tuesday.
Boston is now just two wins away from their second finals appearance in three seasons.
"I think we are becoming the team that started the season," coach Doc Rivers said. "The team that started the season was pretty good."
Dwight Howard had 30 points, and Vince Carter and J.J. Redick scored 16 apiece for Orlando who rallied from an 11-point deficit to take a brief lead in final quarter.
Jameer Nelson’s desperation three pointer missed the rim entirely at the buzzer.
The series now shifts to Boston for game three.
Two years removed from their 17th NBA championship, the Celtics are on a roll, coming off an impressive quarter-final series win over LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics started quickly going ahead by 11 in the first quarter. They also took a 20-point lead in game one.
Magic’s Carter blundered mightily from the line missing two free throws with 31.9 seconds left that would have helped get Orlando back in it.
Tempers flared in the second quarter. Pierce was knocked in the head hard by Howard on a layup attempt. He of the twisted headband picked himself up off the floor, clearly agitated. But he remained calm as Howard was whistled for a flagrant foul.