Boston Celtics

Mar 21, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) shoots against Orlando Magic forward Al-Farouq Aminu (2) in the third quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

“The Celtics needed a day like this,” remarked radio voice Sean Grande during the third quarter of Boston’s 112-96 win over the Orlando Magic Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Jaylen Brown went bonkers with 34 points and the Green hit 23 three-pointers – one shy of the franchise record – while flashing defensive intensity and cohesion they’d been lacking of late in a game that started close but turned into a laugher in the second half.

As usual, Brown and Jayson Tatum led the way. Brown canned a career-high 10 threes (one shy of the single-game franchise record). Tatum knocked down five three-pointers of his own and finished with 23 points (19 in the first half).

Recent double-digit leads haven’t been safe for the Celtics. Revisiting that concerning trend, the Magic threatened to cut the fun and games short with a 20-5 run that slashed the deficit to eight early in the fourth. But Boston followed with a 9-2 sprint to wrest command of the contest from the visitors and cruise from there.

The Celtics’ big surge was a 26-7 run from the second quarter into the third to take a 17-point lead.

After giving up 31 points in the first quarter, Boston clamped down defensively. That intensity, plus rapid fire ball movement and hot shooting from Tatum and Brown (a combined 11-for-14 from deep at the midway point) pushed them to a 56-48 halftime advantage.

Marcus Smart had a Marcus Smart game with 11 points, eight assists and his usual energy on defense.

Daniel Theis double-doubled with 13 points, 11 rebounds while pitching in on the other end, as well.

Orlando was paced by Nikola Vucevic, who tried to keep things close for the worst offensive team in the NBA. The big man totaled 23 points and 13 boards.

The win pushes the Green back to .500 at 21-21, momentarily good enough to move them into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

It’s nice when everything goes your way. The home win will be Boston’s last appearance at the Garden before fans return in a limited capacity a week from Sunday.

But there’s a rough road ahead, as the C’s play Memphis tomorrow for their second game in just over 24 hours. That will be followed by two straight on the road opposite reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 27-14 Milwaukee Bucks.

Coverage of the Celtics and Grizzlies begins at 8:30 Monday night on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Celtics.

Sean Sylver can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Talk hoops with him on Twitter @TheSylverFox.