Monday, February 7, 2022

Celtics 116, Magic 83: Jaylen Brown, C's defense too much for Orlando in fifth straight win

The Celtics rolled past the Orlando Magic 116-83 Sunday night at Amway Center to win a season-best five in a row.

Jaylen Brown was the game's leading scorer with 26 points and not to mention one thunderous poster dunk on Mo Bamba, which was pretty much an indicator of how the night went for the home team.

Dennis Schröder finished with 22 points off the bench on 8-of-15 from the field, including going 4-of-8 from deep. Jayson Tatum added 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Al Horford recorded his 10th double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) for the Celtics, who are now 30-25 on the season.

Boston held the Magic to 35.8% shooting from the floor and 5-of-26 (19.2%) from 3-point territory. It was the third time these two teams met, as the C's held Orlando to just 79 points on 32.1% made shot attempts back in November -- both season lows.
"It's suffocating, at times, with our size and versatility," Celtics coach Ime Udoka said of his team's defense as of late. "We've got big wings, versatile bigs and a pit bull for a point guard [Marcus Smart]. There's no real weakness out there or anybody to pick on.

"This is what we envisioned and it's coming to fruition now that we have some consistency with our lineups."
Rookie Jalen Suggs led Orlando with 17 points and Wendell Carter Jr. chipped in 14 points, eight rebounds, as the only two players to reach double-digit scoring for the 12-43 Magic.

The Celtics for a second straight game did not trail once, sweeping the season series against Orlando, who have dropped to 0-21 when they fail to score 100 points.
"We're finding some continuity and chemistry. We've had some adversity, but now we're finding ways to win some games," Brown said in his postgame presser. "I'd say before the season, with the way our team was structured, we had a defensive group. This is what we imagined when we started."
Despite getting off to a shaky start offensively, Boston was able to limit the Magic to just 15 first quarter points, before taking a 49-39 advantage into halftime. The Celtics pushed their lead to 19-points in the third period, as Orlando missed 18-of -20 3-point shots through the first 36 minutes of action.
"We're playing with pace, everybody is touching (the ball) and everybody is sharing the ball," Schroder said in his postgame comments. "We're playing a lot faster and that's been great."
The Celtics will head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets (29-24) who are ahead of Boston in the East standings due to having one loss less. TNT will have the tip-off at 7:30 PM ET.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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