On Friday night a depleted Boston Celtics avoided a three-game skid as they knock off the Orlando Magic, 92-83, in the first of a two-game road trip.
The Celtics were without Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown. But the C’s got Al Horford back in the starting lineup after missing back-to-back games battling an illness.
Before tipoff the play-by-play voice of the Celtics, Sean Grande, had some breaking news.
First time in 17 years Max is standing next to me.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) March 16, 2018
We’ll see how long this lasts. pic.twitter.com/Fa3ljJUYi8
In the first 90-seconds of the game, the C’s missed their first five field goal attempts, with three of them getting blocked,
But the scoring struggles continued for both teams, with the Celtics shooting two-of-12 from the field and the Magic shooting a measly two-of-seven over the opening three minutes of the game.
The Celtics closed out the first quarter with a 25-16 lead and never looked back, after shooting 36 percent from the field.
Shane Larkin dropped a quick dime in the first half, as the C’s went on a 15-4 run to take a 48-31 lead into the half.
Talk about matching numbers. The Celtics went onto shoot 35.3 percent from both the field & from three in the first half.
The Celtics shot 35.3% in the first half, it would be their second worst shooting night in the last two years.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) March 17, 2018
And they lead by 17.
It remained a game of runs in the third, with the Celtics going on an 8-0 run halfway through the third to take a whopping 24-point lead.
The Celtics continued to buckle down on the defensive end, as they eventually took a hefty 75-52 lead into the fourth.
Shelvin Mack and the Magic started the fourth red-hot with an 11-2 run in the first four minutes to cut the deficit to 16, but it wasn’t enough.
The Eastern Conference’s second place Celtics would end up knocking off the East’s second to last place Magic for the third time in four games this season.
Terry Rozier III and Greg Monroe each led the C’s in scoring with 17 points a piece. Rozier finished three-of-eight from three and Monroe shot 75 percent from the field.
Terry Rozier’s 12 consecutive games with multiple 3-point field goals represents the longest such streak by a Celtics player this season— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) March 17, 2018
Marcus Morris had nine points (4-15 FG) and a team-leading 11 rebounds in place of Brown in the starting lineup. And Horford looked like he didn’t miss a beat in his return, finishing the game with 15 points (6-18 FG) and nine rebounds.
The Celtics finished the night shooting 37.8 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from three. And they would maintain a lead for the final 46 minutes of the game, while out-rebounding the Magic, 55-40.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (46-22) will play the second of their two-game trip on Sunday night against the New Orleans Pelicans (39-29). Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 5:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 6:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.