Celtics fade in 4th quarter, lose in Orlando 103-98

Despite an early 20-point lead, Boston fell to Orlando, 103-98.  A 12-0 run by the Magic late in the fourth quarter guided them to a home victory.

Rookie point guard Elfrid Payton posted a near triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.  Orlando center Dewayne Dedmon (who?) put up career highs in points (11) and rebounds (16), getting the start in place of Nikola Vucevic, who sat out with a sore ankle.

Brandon Bass led the Celtics with 19 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, 10 on the offensive side of the ball (a career best as well).  Bass also tied his career high with five assists.  Isaiah Thomas scored 21 for Boston, along with five rebounds, nine assists and two steals in 30 minutes.  However, Thomas shot just 5-for-14 from the floor and couldn't muster his usual fourth-quarter magic (pun intended).

Behind a trio of three-pointers from Marcus Smart, the Celtics got off to a hot start and led 31-17 after the first quarter.  Boston extended the lead to 20 (37-17) early in the second period, but a 24-7 Orlando run trimmed it down to three, 44-41.  The Celtics settled on a 49-43 advantage at halftime.

Five straight points by Victor Oladipo gave the Magic their first lead of the ballgame, 61-59 with 4:11 left in the third quarter.  Orlando pulled ahead by five, 66-61, before a rare three from Luigi Datome stopped the bleeding.  The game was tied 69-69 heading into the final frame.

Datome stayed hot to begin the fourth, throwing down a dunk and a nailing what appeared to be a shot clock-beating jumper (video review took away the basket).  His second three-ball of the night made it 80-75 Boston with 7:24 to go.  Datome finished with 10 points (on 4-for-5 shooting), a rebound and two blocks in 10 minutes of action.

Smart was ejected in the final minute on a offensive foul (deemed flagrant 2 on replay) for elbowing Payton while driving to the hoop.

Follow Mark Vandeusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan