ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Boston Celtics' big three -- and big 3-point attack -- came up short Sunday.
The NBA's best-shooting team, the Celtics, found themselves uncharacteristically down 20 points and still trailing after three quarters. They came back and made it close, but Paul Pierce missed an off-balance jumper with time running out and Orlando dealt Boston its first loss 104-102.
"We're not perfect," said Kevin Garnett, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds. "We didn't think we were going to go 82-0. But we are a team of character. We do play hard. We do play together -- just not perfect."
Garnett, Ray Allen and Pierce were each averaging 20 points.
Only Pierce topped the mark Sunday, scoring 28 points and keying several quick runs that brought Boston (8-1) back. Allen finished with 19 but had just eight points on 4-of-12 shooting before the fourth quarter.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game on the road -- two of the top teams in the East right now," Pierce said.
It was a chance for Orlando (9-2) to show it deserves the conference's second-best record. The Magic forced 20 Boston turnovers, shot 50.8 percent and won despite the Celtics' 41-28 rebounding edge. Perhaps more importantly, Orlando didn't collapse when Boston made a late run.
It was the first time a team shot better than 50 percent against the Celtics and the first time Boston trailed at the half and entering the fourth quarter.
LAKERS 106, BULLS 78, at Los Angeles -- Kobe Bryant scored 10 of his 18 points in the third quarter, and five Los Angeles reserves finished in double figures in the victory over Chicago, which was the Lakers' third in a row.
The Bulls lost by their biggest margin ever to the Lakers. The previous record margin was 27 points in 1968.