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The 13-win Orlando Magic found new life on offense to pound the Boston Celtics 103-95. The loss marks the third in a row for Boston, as they try to refind their footing.

Kyrie shot 6-7 (2-2 deep) for 15 of Boston's 29 points in the opening quarter. He also drew a charge on Jonathon Simmons. It's safe to say that it was refreshing to have Irving's offense reinserted into the lineup after their horrid 80 points put up against the Sixers.

Al Horford had a huge early impact on the game without taking a single shot. His three assist, rebound, steal, and block speaks to his strong presence on the floor. In addition to Kyrie's scoring, Jaylen Brown was aggressive on offense, getting to the rim four times for eight first-quarter points:



Together, Boston's backcourt combined for 23 of their 29 points.

However, Orlando went on an instant 8-0 run once Kyrie checked out, outhustling and running by Celtics defenders for uncontested finishes. This made it a one-point game after the first 12 minutes of the game:



The Celtics' defense was ugly in the second frame. They had several mental-hiccups that gave Orlando wide open layups and threes. On top of that, the Magic were knocking down tough shots. Evan Fournier (10 points) and Jonathon Simmons (9 points) were leading their perimeter attack, while Elfrid Payton and DJ Augustin (10 points each) were attacking the rim with little resistance from the defense. Orlando put 58 points on the board thanks to their solid offensive attack and Boston falling asleep on defense.

Early in the quarter, the Celtics' scoring dropped off. The second unit struggled to get anything going, shooting a combined 4-12 for eight points. The Magic, on the other hand, enjoyed a 23-point contribution from their bench in the half.

Eventually, Boston still got it done offensively. Uncle Drew continued to get buckets any way necessary, like on this shimmy, fade-away jumper:



He shot 9-12 in the half, 3-3 from downtown, on his way to scoring 24 points heading into the break. He also grabbed six boards. Miraculously, Boston used a spurt in the final minute or so to somehow recapture the lead:



Orlando had a hot start to the second half. Led by Aaron Gordon, Fornier, and Payton, the Magic opened the quarter on a 21-8. That trio vicously attacked Boston's lackluster defense to build their largest lead of the night, 83-67. Irving did his part, knocking down two more three-pointers and keeping his team's offense functioning by shooting 3-6 from the field. The rest of Boston's players combined for just two points on 0-9 shooting during Orlando's 21-8 run, though.

Orlando contiuned getting their way on the court through the rest of the third. Even Mario Hezonja was getting in on the action, scoring the Magic's final five points of the frame. As a unit, they outscored Boston 56-40 in the paint, highlighting their aggresiveness and guiding them to a large advantage:



The C's found some urgency to start the final quarter, going on a 10-3 run to chip into their deficit. Jayson Tatum and Brown heated up to bring some life back into TD Garden, while Irving continued his sharp shooting. However, the damage had already been done. Payton kept opperating at a high level and helped fend off Boston's comeback push.

Irving finished with 40 points, five assists, and seven rebounds in a losing effort.


Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

Photo via @Celtics

Erik Johnson 1/21/2018 03:20:00 PM Edit
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