There’s no great way to quit a protracted successful streak, so the Boston Celtics may be forgiven for dropping this one to a really over-confident Orlando Magic crew whereas lacking three key contributors – Marcus Smart, Robert Williams and Malcolm Brogdon. Boston went down by at least 13 factors twice, dropping the sport 113-98. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each put in 26 factors to lead Boston as Orlando received the season sequence.
Jaylen Brown was scorching proper out of the gates as the remainder of the Celtics have been a bit extra timid, particularly when it got here to the paint. The Magic did a fantastic job of proudly owning that pot on the court docket whereas Boston was deterred by lengthy limbs on protection. In the first half, the Celtics fell behind by as a lot as 14 as the Magic waltzed to the rim in transition. Orlando had a bunch of highlights, led by Jonathan Isaac’s return (think about my shock after they saved working performs for him nonstop) and Cole Anthony’s on the spot offense.
After Mo Wagner waved Boston goodbye with about eight minutes left in the first half, Grant Williams had sufficient. Imploring Boston to restrict transition and get to the rim, Boston earned management again nearly immediately with a bit underneath 4 minutes left in the first half, capping off a 16-point turnaround. Three straight Jayson Tatum buckets at the rim (two of these ought to have been and-1s) put Boston on high. Instead of letting the energetic Orlando crew dictate the tempo, the greatest crew in the league acquired theirs. . . ahem . . magic again.
Out of the half, the Celtics saved the momentum going regardless of giving up extra transition alternatives than they did in the late second. About halfway via the quarter, Jayson Tatum exited the sport and headed straight to the locker room whereas grabbing at his ribs. It’s exhausting to see the place the harm occurred since he hit a 3-pointer simply seconds earlier. Pretty a lot instantly, issues acquired out of hand as Jonathan Isaac (10 factors in 10 minutes) gave Orlando a big raise.
Orlando went on a 20-5 run after Tatum’s harm, placing Boston in the same place as they have been in the earlier quarter, happening by 13. It is notable that timeouts led to each of the instances Boston dug itself out of a gap tonight . Tatum’s return to the flooring helped Boston stabilize a bit, taking a nine-point deficit into the fourth quarter.
Sam Hauser (13 factors, 1 block) lastly broke out of his stoop tonight, and his play early in the fourth quarter was an enormous increase for the Celtics as the offense floor to a halt. After an enormous hustle play on the flooring, he bailed out Boston for 5 straight factors on damaged performs. After solely enjoying 9 first-half minutes due to the aggravation of his neck harm, Derrick White (11 factors, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and a pair of blocks) additionally got here up massive down the stretch. Payton Pritchard was additionally an unsung hero, making good selections with the ball all night.
For the Magic, Franz Wagner (15 factors, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) repeatedly doused Boston’s probabilities with well timed performs on each ends. Wendell Carter was strong, posting 21 factors and 11 rebounds. Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 23 factors and three 3-pointers (sigh).
Orlando went on a 10-0 run, making issues more and more tough for Boston to get some traction going. Horford lastly broke the run with simply over two minutes left in the sport. Boston turning the ball over 17 instances was an enormous obstacle on their probabilities to win the sport. A whole lot of 50/50 balls went Orlando’s approach, and the Celtics merely ran out of time to full the second comeback of the sport.
The Celtics take the greatest report in the league (nonetheless) to Miami tomorrow evening as a part of the NBA’s rival week in a matchup in opposition to the Heat.