Jayson Tatum missed a potential game-tying shot at the end of regulation, as a nine-point rally by the Celtics in the final three minutes in Orlando fell short in a 105-103 defeat to the Magic. Kyrie Irving had a team-high 24 points, including several crucial ones in the closing minutes but he failed to touch the ball on the final possession as Gordon Hayward opted to inbound the ball to Tatum instead of waiting for Irving's inbounds action. Irving had words for Hayward after the final buzzer.
The Magic scored 64 points in the second half to rally from a 10-point halftime deficit, on the backs of Aaron Gordon (game-high 28 points) and Terrence Ross (25 points). All five Boston starters scored in double figures but the entire bench unit (outside of Jaylen Brown) had a very tough offensive night, losing big leads in both halves against an Orlando team that had lost four straight games prior to the win.
The Celtics will try to salvage their road trip with a win in Brooklyn on Monday after falling to 25-17 on the season.
First Half Notes
- Horrendous offense from both teams in the first quarter, as they combine to shoot roughly 30 percent from the field.
- C's making many uncharacteristic errors early on, including five missed free throws from two of their best shooters in Morris and Hayward.
- C's lead by as many as nine in first quarter but the offense falls apart once the bench unit enters, going ice cold for the final few minutes of the frame as Magic put together a 16-1 run to build a seven-point lead in an ugly affair.
- Robert Williams makes a brief cameo but really struggles defensively against Aaron Gordon on switches, which earns him a quick seat.
- Very nice recovery offensively in second quarter thanks to Jaylen Brown (12 points), Marcus Morris and Smart to help C's re-assert command and head into break with a 10-point lead against a listless Magic offense.
GAME: No. 42 of 82
WHO: Celtics (25-16) vs. Magic (17-24)
WHEN: 7:00 EST
WHERE: Amway Arena
RADIO: 105.7 WROR
TV: NBC Sports Boston
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Al Horford
G: DJ Augustin
G: Evan Fournier
F: Jonathan Isaac
F: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Vucevic