In a "battle" between two of the three worst teams in the NBA, the Celtics held on for a 96-89 home win over the Magic, who fell to just 3-22 on the road this season.
As usual the Celtics got off to a good start at the TD Garden, leading 27-19 after the first period. They upped the advantage to 9 at the half (54-45), and were on top 71-64 through three quarters. Orlando cut the deficit to 2 with 2:20 to go in the 4th (86-84), but three straight jumpers from Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, and Brandon Bass had the C's back up by 8 a minute later.
Rondo entered the day shooting just 27.9% from the floor, but hit 9 of his first 10 field goal attempts this afternoon, finishing 9-11 (including 8-8 from inside the arc) for 19 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals; easily his best outing of the year. He became the first Celtic since Sherman Douglas in 1993 to have at least 19 points and 9 assists in a game while shooting better than 80%. Rondo's efforts helped balance out a woeful offensive performance from Green, who missed 11 of the 13 shots he took while scoring 8 points in 36 minutes.
Jared Sullinger posted his 9th double-double of the season for Boston, with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
After missing the past five games with a sprained ankle Avery Bradley returned to the Celtics starting lineup, scoring 17 points in 33 minutes of action.
Arron Afflalo put 18 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds for the Magic in a losing effort.
Follow Mark Vandeusen on twitter @LucidSportsFan Mark Vandeusen 2/02/2014 03:28:00 PM Tweet