Game 6: 10 Celtics-Magic nuggets

BOSTON -- Here are 10 facts and figures to keep in mind for Friday's Celtics-Magic clash (ESPN, 8:30 p.m) in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at Amway Arena (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):

1. The Celtics lost Game 5 by a 21-point margin, spoiling their chance to close out this series. Boston is the 71st team in NBA history to lose a potential series-clinching game by 20+ points. In the 42 previous instances in which the team had another chance to close out the series (28 losses came in a series-deciding game), 28 were successful in their next attempt (66.7 percent).

2. The Celtics 21-point margin of defeat marked the fourth time in their franchise history that they lost a potential series-clinching game by 20-or-more points. That also happened in 1960 against Philadelphia (21-point margin), in 1990 against New York (27) and in 2005 against Indiana (27).

3. Dwight Howard registered 21 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots to help Orlando avoid playoff elimination in Game 5. Howard had 32 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots to help Orlando avoid a series sweep in Game 4. Only one other player has recorded 20-or-more points, 10-or-more rebounds and at least four blocked shots in consecutive games with his team facing elimination in each game: Elvin Hayes in 1979.

NelsonNelson4. Jameer Nelson has scored 20-or-more points in six games in this postseason after registering only five 20-point games during the regular season. Only two other players in NBA history have recorded more 20-point games during the playoffs than during the regular season in a single season (min: six 20-point games during the playoffs): Robert Horry in 1995 (six in postseason; two in regular season) and Ernie Grunfeld in 1981 (six in postseason; four in regular season).

5. Howard appeared in his 50th career playoff game in Game 5. Howard is the only player in NBA history to record at least 713 rebounds and 136 blocked shots by their 50th postseason game.

PiercePierceh6. Paul Pierce is averaging 24.9 points per game in 11 games in which his team has had a chance to clinch a playoff series at home in his career. Only one active player has a higher scoring average in potential series-clinching home games than Pierce (min: 5 games): Kobe Bryant (26.3).

7. J.J. Redick is shooting 51.5 percent from the field (17 for 33) in six career postseason games played at the TD Garden. In all other playoff games outside of this arena, Redick's career field-goal percentage is just 35.8 percent (43 for 120).

8. The Magic have held their opponents to below 100 points in each of their first 13 games in the 2010 playoffs. That is the longest streak to begin a postseason since Miami held its opponents to below 100 points in each of its first 13 games in the 2004 playoffs. The last team to do that in their first 14 games of a playoff season was New York in 1999 (first 20).

9. Rashard Lewis is shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half (9 for 18) and only 25.9 percent from the field in the second half (7 for 27) in this series.

10. The Magic have won two games in which they have faced playoff elimination against the Celtics in Boston (May 17, 2009 and May 24, 2010). With a win Friday, Orlando will become the third franchise (other than the Celtics) to win three win-or-go-home games in Boston. The Knicks have won four such games and the 76ers have won three.

Bonus nugget: Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has registered 45 postseason wins in his six seasons as a head coach. Only six head coaches in NBA history have recorded more playoff wins through their first six seasons in the league than Van Gundy: Pat Riley (72), Phil Jackson (66), K.C. Jones (57), Billy Cunningham (56), Rudy Tomjanovich (48) and Johnny Kundla (48).