Jaylen Brown scored 50 points as the Celtics made a furious charge late to defeat the Orlando Magic 116-111 in overtime at TD Garden on Sunday night.
The 7-win Magic erased an early deficit, pulled ahead of the C’s in the third quarter, and held a 14-point advantage with four minutes left. With Terence Ross (33 points) cruising, lackluster Boston defense and tons of turnovers (21 for the game), it looked like the C’s would go from a win over the NBA’s best in the Suns on New Year’s Eve to a loss against one of the league’s worst to kick off 2022.
But the Green ramped up their defense, attacked the basket, and forced the extra period before getting the W.
Dennis Schröder tossed in 21 points with seven assists in a supporting role, while Marcus Smart had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven dimes in the win. Al Horford blocked five shots.
Gary Harris poured in 23 points for Orlando, while teammate Wendell Carter tallied 15 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.
A 17-4 Orlando run across the halftime break tied the game at 45, with a 35-point third quarter putting the visitors up by a dozen headed into the fourth. But Boston responded with their own 35-point frame – 18 of them coming in the final four minutes. Brown had 14 during that stretch – many at the rim – with Smart the catalyst for several buckets.
Brown made 19 of his 29 field goal attempts, converting five three-pointers and seven of his eight free throws.
The Cal product’s outburst was the 11th time in team history that a player hit the 50-point mark. He joined the recently departed Sam Jones, Larry Bird (four times), Kevin McHale, Paul Pierce, Isaiah Thomas and Jayson Tatum on that list.
Next up, the San Antonio Spurs visit TD Garden Wednesday night. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Sean Sylver can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Talk hoops with him on Twitter @TheSylverFox.