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Second round of the playoffs? It’s Magic; and the Lakers, too

SHARE Second round of the playoffs? It’s Magic; and the Lakers, too
Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic dunks against the Toronto Raptors in Monday's playoff game.

Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic dunks against the Toronto Raptors in Monday’s playoff game.

Eliot J. Schechter, Getty Images

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dwight Howard had 21 points and 21 rebounds and the Orlando Magic advanced to second round of the playoffs for the first time in 12 years, beating the Toronto Raptors 102-92 on Monday night to close out their series in five games.

It was Howard's third game with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in the series.

Raptors forward Chris Bosh, who posted career playoff highs of 39 points and 15 rebounds at Toronto on Saturday, had 16 points and nine rebounds. Bosh was frustrated down low by Howard, shooting 7-of-19 and picking up a third-quarter technical foul after the Magic star powered past him for a layup.

The Magic will play the winner of the Detroit-Philadelphia series, which is tied 2-2, in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

T.J. Ford and Carlos Delfino both scored 14 points for the Raptors, while Jason Kapono had 13 and Jose Calderon 12. Delfino added seven rebounds and Ford had five assists.

Keyon Dooling's free throw after the technical on Bosh put the Magic ahead 73-66 with just under a minute left in the third quarter, and Orlando kept that cushion until midway through the fourth. Delfino hit a jumper and Bosh made two free throws in four trips to the line, plus a hook shot over Howard, to draw the Raptors within 84-82.

The Magic, who shot the fourth-best percentage in the NBA from 3-point range this season, struggled again from long range, but made them when it counted. Keith Bogans and Jameer Nelson each hit one and Howard added a layup as the Magic answered with an 8-0 run over 3:13 to open a 92-82 lead, then its largest of the game.

It was enough room to let them coast.

Nelson scored 19 points for Orlando and Rashard Lewis had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu just missed a triple-double with 12 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, while Maurice Evans scored 12 points and Bogans added 11.

Orlando hadn't won a playoff series since 1996, when Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway led the team to the Eastern Conference finals.

HAWKS 97, CELTICS 92: At Atlanta, Forget about a Boston sweep. The Hawks are headed back to Beantown all tied up with the mighty Celtics.

Joe Johnson scored 35 points — 20 in the fourth quarter — and Josh Smith added 28 points and seven blocks for Atlanta, which surprised the Celtics again to even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

A Game 5 that many never expected to happen is now on, Wednesday night in Boston.

The Hawks, who had the worst record (37-45) of any playoff team, overcame two double-digit deficits to beat a team that won an NBA-leading 66 games during the regular season.

The credit for this Atlanta stunner goes largely to Johnson, who took control in the final quarter. After Smith's jumper put the Hawks ahead to stay 81-79, Johnson scored nine straight points to keep the Celtics on the ropes.

The knockout came when Paul Pierce drove to the hoop and left it short, then tumbled over a cameraman alongside the basket. When the Boston star finally climbed back to his feet, he had a look of disbelief — which pretty much sums up the way the Celtics are feeling about this series.

Ray Allen led Boston with 21 points, and Kevin Garnett added 20.

LAKERS 107, NUGGETS 101: At Denver, Kobe Bryant scored 14 of his 31 points over the final 5 1/2 minutes, leading the Lakers to victory over the Denver Nuggets and a sweep of their first-round series.

Pau Gasol added 21 points in the Lakers' first sweep of a playoff series since whitewashing New Jersey in the 2002 NBA finals, the last time they won it all.

The Lakers will meet the winner of the Utah-Houston series.