It wasn't pretty, but they found a way to get the job done. Behind 28 points and seven assists from All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics picked up their second win in a row and number 41 on the season, and moved up to the fifth seed in the process.
Both teams were on the second night of a back-to-back, so the Celtics had no excuses, especially considering they were playing at home versus an inept team. Orlando does have talent, and it showed last night when Victor Oladipo went off for 25 points, eight rebounds, and was pretty much unstoppable, but they are very young and haven't learned how to play as a team.
Boston does what they do when they're playing winning basketball- they get out in transition and they win the first quarter. They held a 22-17 lead which was put together by strong play from Isaiah Thomas, Kelly Olynyk, and Avery Bradley. The second quarter was an offensive explosion for both teams with Boston winning 34-32 and taking a seven-point lead into the half.
The second quarter was more of the same for the aforementioned trio as they continued to light up the scoreboard, but Orlando was still hanging around. Not everyone believes this, but most games are decided in the third quarter, and it is a simple reason- your adjustments are either going to work or they won't. Orlando's adjustments didn't work and Boston took the third quarter, 35-29, which extended the lead to 13 and put the Magic in a tough spot against an excellent and hungry defensive team.
The Celtics struggled to score in the fourth and it looked like the Magic were going to pull off a good comeback when they trailed by just four points with 2:49 to go, but Avery Bradley went to work and started knocking down jumpers, ending any chance of a Magic comeback.
With the win, the Celtics improve to 41-30 and will host the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors on Wednesday night. The Magic (29-41) will travel to Detroit Wednesday to take on the Pistons.
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