It was hard not to be encouraged by the Celtics' effort on Friday night when they dismantled the Wizards 111-78 at the Garden.
Unfortunately, anyone who thought it was a sign of things to come had their excitement brought to a screeching halt Sunday night when Boston once again showed their inconsistency.
As a fan there's nothing more painful to admit, but the Celtics lacked effort against the Magic in their 110-91 loss in Orlando.
The first quarter was relatively competitive as the Magic only lead 21-20 when it came to a close. The key for the Magic in the first was Tobias Harris, who finished the quarter with six points and six rebounds.
Considering their sloppy play, the Celtics were lucky to only be down by eight at halftime. They were out-rebounded 22-16 in the half and allowed the Magic to shoot 51.1%.
Andrew Nicholson did the most damage with 10 points on 4-5 shooting to go along with three rebounds and two blocks.
The Celtics' best offensive player in the first half was David Lee, who was a perfect 5-5 from the field with 11 points. Their best defensive player was Jared Sullinger, who had four rebounds, three steals, and three blocks despite having zero points.
Avery Bradley had the hot hand in the third quarter for the C's, but the Magic were still able to extend their lead. AB had seven points and finished the quarter with 17, but the Magic won the quarter 31-22, thanks in no small part to Nikola Vucevic. At the end of the third, Vucevic had 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Magic led 84-67 after three and never looked back.
One of the big stories was rebounding. The Celtics were absolutely dominated on the boards, grabbing only 34 to the Magic's 54.
Orlando also out-shot Boston 48.4% to 40.9%.
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics in both scoring and passing with 20 points and seven assists. Sullinger led the team in rebounds with 11.
Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 19 points and six assists while Tobias Harris contributed 11 rebounds. Orlando had five players with at least five rebounds.
The final score was 110-91.
The Celtics take on the Heat Monday night at 7:30 in Miami.
Follow Jack Bardsley @BostonsBigFour
Photo via NBA.com Jack Bardsley 11/29/2015 09:16:00 PM Tweet Edit