BOSTON (AP) – Jameer Nelson scored nine of his 16 points in the final 9:52 of the fourth quarter and Dwight Howard blocked Mark Blount’s potential game-tying shot with 12 seconds left Monday night, helping the Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics 87-83 for their fourth straight win.

Steve Francis led the Magic with 19 points and DeShawn Stevenson had 11. Howard had a double-double, with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Ricky Davis led the Celtics with 22 points, and Paul Pierce had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Orlando led 83-81 when Blount took a pass in the lane, but Howard got a piece of it before the shot could be released.

Hedo Turkoglu hit two free throws with 9.3 seconds left, stretching Orlando’s lead to 85-81. After Davis hit a jumper, Turkoglu hit two more from the line with 4.8 seconds left to seal it.

Francis’ twisting scoop shot had moved Orlando ahead 71-69 with 8:35 to play. After Nelson made a jumper, he stole ball away from Dan Dickau and coasted in with a breakaway layup, pushing the Magic’s lead to six with 7:28 left.

They made it 79-71 on Howard’s two free throws with 4:56 to go.

Boston then closed it to 83-81 on Delonte West’s two free throws with 1:30 left. After Pat Garrity missed a jumper with just over a minute to play, Davis missed badly with a baseline jumper that would have tied it.

Neither team held more than a four-point edge in the third quarter, with Orlando holding a 64-63 lead heading to the final period.

The Magic led 47-45 at halftime.

Notes: Boston’s Al Jefferson left the floor with a mild concussion late in the first quarter after banging heads with Howard. He returned in the second half. … Before the game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers compared Howard’s skills to former San Antonio star David Robinson. … West returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a bruised left hip. … Blount played after being benched the entire game in Friday’s win over Charlotte.

AP-ES-11-28-05 2228EST

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.