Back up the tank for another night, the Celtics have now won two games in a row with a thrilling 91-89 win over the Orlando Magic. C’s Coach Brad Stevens earned his first win on Wednesday night at the Garden, and now has his first winning streak, in Orlando. Those of you that want the Celtics to lose every game will have to wait (probably until tomorrow night) a little longer. The Celtics played a game of reversal tonight. This time instead of starting out great and falling apart in the fourth, they came out sluggish but played well enough in the end to hold on.
Jeff Green found his way back to the milk carton for the majority of the half until a late second quarter posterization of Jason Maxiell allowed him to make his presence felt. Too add emphasis, Green stood and walked over Maxiell for extra swag. Green had another posterization of Nikola Vucevic on a third quarter baseline dunk. Courtney Lee went on a scoring binge when he entered the game in the second quarter, playing as if he was just traded from Orlando.
The C’s were out-rebounded in total (56-50) but their hustle and hard work on the offensive glass (19-16) allowed them to scrape their way to a win. Brandon Bass led six Celtics in double figures with 16. He also made two late, clutch free throws, as the current active playoff FT % leader should in clutch situations. Avery Bradley added rookie standout Victor Oladipo to his “Rip List” by picking him clean for an dunk-and-one right off a timeout. The Celtics ended the first and second quarters with coast-to-coast layups with roughly four seconds left. Phil Pressey nearly also did it in the third quarter, but missed his layup.
In the first half, the C’s were sluggish at the start, trailing 24-17 and struggling to score which is odd since they’ve been a solid first quarter team this season thus far. Orlando got the majority of their points from the paint (24) and FT line (12). The C’s got sloppy on defense late in the game when AB fouled Aaron Afflalo shooting a three, giving up a four point play, cutting a late 6 point lead to two. It happened again, this time on a drive then Bass fouling Afflalo. The three pointers continue to be a desert for the C’s as they came up dry shooting 2-14.
- The C’s held Orlando to only 40 second half points
- Orlando was held to 39.8% FG shooting
- C’s had 25 to Orlando’s 8 points off turnovers
- KO’s 4 offensive rebounds all came on one possession, tapping the ball but missing each time
- 12 of Vucevic’s 14 points came in the first quarter
- The Celtics actually out-scored their opponent in the paint, 48-42
The Celtics will get right back at it tomorrow night looking for their third straight win against old friends LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen in Miami. For some reason, it just won’t feel quite the same. Still, it’s Miami, they’re the two-time reigning champions and C’s fans have no love for them.