Tatum leads shorthanded Celtics to 116-100 win over Magic

David Butler II-USA TODAY

By Tristan Deschenes, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Jayson Tatum scored 33 points and the Boston Celtics defeated the Orlando Magic 116-110 to get their 35th win of the season. Boston pulled off their fifth straight win despite being without Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, and Daniel Theis.

The Celtics went back and forth with the Magic all night until Boston finally pulled away in the second half of the fourth quarter.

The Green scored early and often, scoring 32 first quarter points and took a 32-24 lead in the second quarter. The Magic would battle back, tying the game at 53 after a Markelle Fultz fastbreak layup with 2:10 to go in the half. Boston had multiple chances to get the lead into double digits, but each time the Magic would respond. Boston led 57-56 at the half. Jayson Tatum had a great first half, pouring in 17 points. Brown also added 12 first half points.

Orlando came out in the third quarter playing great defense. The Magic were able to hold off the Celtics for most of the quarter and took a 65-62 lead after Evan Fournier knocked down a three-pointer with 7:45 to go in the third. Boston got the lead back late in the quarter, after back to back layups by Vincent Poirier gave the Celtis a five point lead with 1:59. A buzzer beater layup by Tatum extended the C’s lead to 87-80 heading into the fourth.

Fournier responded again for the Magic keeping them in the game by knocking down threes to get the Boston lead down to three. Mid-way through the quarter, it was all Tatum. The first-time All-Star went on a run of 10 straight points for the green, and his step-back three with 6:52 to go in the game put the Celtics up 99-91. A Jaylen Brown monster dunk got the Garden rocking and gave the Celtics a 101-91 lead. The Magic would respond with a five-point run to keep them in the game.

With under three minutes to go, the C’s put it away. A three pointer by Gordon Hayward kept the lead at 10 with 2:36 to go, and then Tatum put the Magic away with a step-back three pointer with 1:46 to extend the Boston lead to 111-98.

In addition to Tatum’s 33 points, he also grabbed eight rebounds and five assists. Gordon Hayward played well and looked comfortable running the offense, finishing with a nice stat line of 23 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Jaylen Brown came in averaging 24 points per game during the C’s four game winning streak and he added another 18 points. Grant Williams led the Celtics bench with 13 points including three three pointers.

The Magic were led by Aaron Gordon who scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Evan Fournier kept the Magic in it all night with multiple big shots. Fournier finished the night with 26 points including six three pointers. Terrence Ross added 18 off the bench.

Up Next: Boston will face Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.