The Boston Celtics host the struggling Orlando Magic, they look to solidify their position atop first place in the standings. Even with Avery Bradley out of the lineup tonight, the C's should be able to take care of business and get an easy win. As the C's have dropped the ball recently against lesser opponents, coach Brad Stevens knows that his team will need to come out ready to compete.
#NEBHInjuryReport: Avery Bradley (illness) is out tonight. Jaylen Brown will start in his place.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 31, 2017
Boston found themselves down early in the first quarter, 12-6. Aaron Gordon hit a few of unexpected jumpshots, while Elfrid Payton got off to a nice start with a bucket and a couple of assists.
Orlando dominated the boards, while also playing solid help defense that frustrated the C's offense. It wasn't until two mintues left in the quarter when the Celtics were able to take their first lead. After a much needed Gerald Green buzzer-beater, Boston was able to build some momentum for the second quarter.
Gerald Green beats the buzzer! pic.twitter.com/hG4GDiStkl— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 1, 2017
Gerald Green tips in a shot at the buzzer, giving the Celtics a 31-29 lead over the Magic after 1Q. Jaylen Brown and IT have 8 points apiece— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 1, 2017
Both teams came out firing up threes, Terrance Ross, Terry Rozier and even Amir Johnson all found their range from beyond the arc to begin the second. Turnovers soon became a problem for each side, throwing away multiple possessions in a row.
With the exception of Marcus Smart's block, that was a horrendous stretch of basketball for both teams.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 1, 2017
Down by three with four mintues to play, Brad Stevens was visibly frustrated with his rookie Jaylen Brown after some questionable shot selection.
Brad Stevens unhappy with Jaylen Brown after that play.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 1, 2017
From this point on the offense completely stalled out and the Magic took advantage, going up by as much as 13 points.
Aaron Gordon just put Marcus Smart on a poster (but that should have been a charge).— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) April 1, 2017
Aaron Gordon (20 points) is on pace for a career night. His career-high is only 33 points.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) April 1, 2017
Luckily, the C's offense was able to somewhat recover, cutting the deficit in half before the break. Gordon led all scorers with 20 points, while his teammate Payton was on triple-double alert. Al Horford somehow went 0-3 from the field, really struggling to get his touches for the game.
The Celtics head into halftime trailing the Magic, 64-57. Thomas leads the C's with 16 pts & 4 asts. Rozier has 7 pts & 4 rebs off the bench pic.twitter.com/9wtJVDbAob— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 1, 2017
Out of halftime Ross continued to kill the Celtics defense, expanding their lead to double-digits again. Horford was then finally able to get on the scoreboard, and IT was able to drill back-to-back triples. Orlando up 76-73, Vogel was forced to call a timeout to try and slow down the pace of the game.
Wow, that Isaiah crossover. He's got nine through 4:58 of the third quarter. Up to 24 for the game. Cs within three, 76-73.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 1, 2017
IT creating space 👀 pic.twitter.com/QdDekdyHnA— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 1, 2017
For every time Boston was able to go on a run and take the lead, Orlando somehow matched them with a basket of their own. Neither team has yet to gain any control over this game.
Hey, Jaylen. pic.twitter.com/GSVrz6tZE7— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 1, 2017
With a transition three late in the third, Crowder was able to expand on the C's biggest lead of the game, 90-86.
Hey, the Celtics just went on a 7-0 run after Isaiah sat down. It's possible after all.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 1, 2017
The C's snag the lead in the 3Q and head into the final frame with a 92-90 advantage over ORL. IT: 26 pts, 6 asts. Crowder: 18 pts, 5 rebs.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 1, 2017
To start the fourth, IT and C's built themselves a nice 7 point lead that quickly diminished with a quick Orlando run, thanks in part by Jodie Meeks. With seven mintues left in the game, both teams were tied 105-105.
That's 11 points for Jodie Meeks in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) April 1, 2017
Isaiah Thomas has matched his season high with four straight games of at least 30 points, per Celtics PR.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 1, 2017
Orlando was able to retake the lead with a pair of Gordon free throws, 109-107. This lead change marked the fifteenth of this closely contested game.
Heck of a save and pass by Crowder there.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 1, 2017
Wow, Payton threw the alley-oop to Gordon and he went one-handed and just hit the ball out of bounds.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 1, 2017
At the last second, the Celtics were able to hold on 117-116, after Payton missed a contested lay-up at the basket.
Wow, Elfrid Payton gets right to the rim and misses a layup that probably would have won it.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 1, 2017
Celtics 117, Magic 116. Final.
Wow. What a sequence. Celtics win 117-116 after everyone refuses to call timeout.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) April 1, 2017
Amir Johnson halts Elfrid Payton's last-second drive to the rim as the C's hold off the Magic, 117-116! Isaiah Thomas: 35 points, 7 assists. pic.twitter.com/8Z2gXRkioC— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 1, 2017
Player of the Game: Isaiah Thomas (35pts/7asts/3rebs)
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Spencer Tawes 3/31/2017 10:03:00 PM Tweet Edit