ORLANDO, Fla. Dwight Howard had 17 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to lift the Orlando Magic to a 117-96 victory over the Boston Celtics tonight and a 2-1 series lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal.
Rashard Lewis had 28 points, and Hedo Turkoglu scored 24 for Orlando, which played without starting point guard Rafer Alston. He was suspended by the NBA for slapping Eddie House in the back of the head in Game 2.
Paul Pierce broke out of his series slump to score 27 points, and Rajon Rondo added 15 for the defending champion Celtics, who trimmed a 20-point deficit to seven before the Magic regained control.
Game 4 is Sunday in Orlando.