Boston came in with the mentality that this was a must-win game to lock up the seventh seed and a date with New York in next week's Playoffs. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce sat out last night's game against Miami to rest for the Playoffs, perhaps anticipating that this one might be an easy win. That is usually not a guarantee against the Magic.
Tonight... Orlando was sluggish and Boston was focused. The Celtics stepped on the Magic's throat and did not let up.
Boston scored the first nine points of the game, and held off Orlando's lone rally to get back into it. Then the Celtics unleashed hell with an offensive onslaught in the second and third quarters. They forced turnovers, they suffocated the Magic's shooters and completely dominated the game. A 20-point halftime lead would have been enough for Orlando, but it ballooned out to 30-plus in a 120-88 Boston win at Amway Center on Saturday.
The Celtics were extremely dialed in on this one and had their defense rolling at a playoff level. They held the Magic to less than 40 percent shooting for most of the game and had the Magic at 42.2 percent for the game. Orlando could not find any rhythm offensively and could not get to the basket. When they did, Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass were there to change shots at the rim and make life difficult for the Magic on the inside.
Orlando got things going too little too late. They were already down big when they tried to make a run. And when they did, Boston made the plays to stem the tide quickly. If the Magic made a big play, Avery Bradley or Courtney Lee came back with a big 3-pointer.no comments