By DJ Harding
As the Celtics traveled to Orlando they would look to win their 10th game in a row. They would have to do with Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, and Robert Willaims III. Smart and Williams III were out with injuries as Smart suffered an Ankle injury while Williams suffered a hyperextended knee. Both injuries were suffered during their previous game versus the Raptors. Malcolm Brogdon was out with personal reasons.
Looking to even up the season series after dropping the last 2 against Orlando. The game opened up with Wendell Carter Jr scoring the first 5 points for Orlando. The Magic quickly jumped out to a 11-3 lead Boston would eventually tie it up at 19. By the end of the first though Orlando would go on a 7-0 run after the game was tied at 23 giving them a 7 point lead. The Second Quarter would have the Magic going up big after an 11-1 run that would have them up 43-29. Boston would then wake up and respond going on a 16-1 run. The Celtics would achieve their first lead of the game and would hold it until 11 seconds left in the half when a Paolo Banchero mid range would put Orlando up 55-54 at Halftime. Banchero and Carter each had 12 points for the Magic. The Celtics were powered by the duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum who had 18 and 16 respectively.
The Beginning of the 3rd quarter was a back and forth through the first 6 minutes when the scare of the game was more injuries as Tatum left holding his rib after a 3 point jumper. The Magic would take that momentum and go on a 18-5 run. Thankfully for the Celtics Tatum would return to the game, The Celtics would have to dig themselves out of a 13 point deficit. By the end of the quarter the lead was at 9 as Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum had 26 and 20 leading the Celtics. Banchero had 19 himself while Cole Anthony and Wendell Carter Jr had 16 points each. The 4th opened up with a trading of buckets before the Celtics went on a 10-3 run to bring the game within 3 points with about 7 minutes left. From the 6 minute mark the Celtics wouldn’t score a point for 3 minutes with the Magic lead increasing to 12 points. The Magic held onto the lead and won 113-98 as Orlando wins the season series 3-1. Tatum and Brown had 26 points each for the Celtics. Orlando was led by rookie Paolo Banchero who had 23 followed by Wendell Carter who had 21. Boston now falls to 35-13 with Orlando improving to 18-29. Nearly 25% of Boston’s losses have come to the Magic.
When asked about the game coach Joe Mazulla said “They played hard, tough, and physical. We had good moments but overall they played well the whole game”. The Celtics now travel to Miami in a primetime showdown on TNT which is the beginning of NBA Rivals week. The Celtics are up 2-1 in the season series and look to get a bounce back win as they lost the last game to Miami along with Losing to Orlando tonight.