Sweeping Magic week - Metro US

Sweeping Magic week

The 2011-12 NBA schedule is chock-full of strange back-to-backs and odd road trips due to the lockout.

This week the Celtics will encounter possibly the most unusual twist of their slate.

After blasting Orlando at TD Garden, 87-56, Monday night in a game in which the Magic scored their lowest point total in franchise history, the Celtics will meet the Magic once again, this time in Orlando on Thursday night (8 p.m., TNT).

One matchup that will be intriguing to watch will be the big man showdown of Orlando’s Dwight Howard against the Celtics’ Jermaine O’Neal. The two nearly came to blows Monday night when O’Neal felt Howard was being a little too liberal with his elbows. The Celtics center stuck his finger in front of Howard’s face and the two had to be separated by teammates.

“It’s stupid to fight on the court at all, so I wasn’t about to go back into it with him,” said Howard. “But that’s kind of crossing the line when somebody puts a hand in your face. I just put his hand out of my face. I didn’t run up on him. It’s basketball. We’re not MMA fighters.”

Ray Allen is expected to miss his second straight game with a left ankle injury.

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