Jason Terry called the Orlando Magic “terrible” and they did everything to prove him right. The Celtics (41-39) got one of their easier wins of the season, defeating the Magic 120-88. The 32-point margin doesn’t even do Boston justice as to how much of a blowout it was.
The Magic (20-60) can put most of the blame on their defense, which allowed the Celtics to shoot a staggering 59.5 percent from the field, and 62.5 percent from beyond the arc. Every Boston starter scored in double-figures, but it was Courtney Lee’s 20 points off the bench that led the Celtics.
Lee may be finding his groove again, after he scored 18 in yesterday’s game against the Heat. He had been struggling since returning from an ankle injury, but has looked good in his recent extended minutes.
After sitting out last night’s game in Miami, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett responded by scoring 12 and 14 points respectively. Better yet, with the Celtics taking a commanding lead from the first quarter, Doc Rivers was able to limit the veterans’ minutes.
Garnett played just 19 minutes, while Pierce tallied 27. Terry did not play at all, as he sat out for rest.
One guy who didn’t see his minutes restricted was Jeff Green. There had been some concerns whether Green would be able to play tonight after hurting his elbow in a scary fall last night. Green showed no signs of being hampered though, scoring 17 points in 37 minutes.
This should allow fans to breathe a sigh of relief. His level of play will likely mean the difference between first round exit or deep playoff run.
While it’s been a tough year for Orlando in the win and loss column, they appear headed in the right direction, with several young pieces to build with and an upcoming top five draft pick. Tobias Harris scored 22 in the losing effort, while Nikola Vucevic recorded yet another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The win tonight has now secured the Celtics into the seventh seed in the East, and a likely playoff matchup against division rival, New York.