Notebook: Celtics 120, Magic 88



Posted Apr 13, 2013 11:17 PM

By Dick Scanlon, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Boston Celtics clinched the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs by trouncing the Orlando Magic 120-88 Saturday.

Boston (41-39) shot 59 percent and led all the way after Jeff Green's layup 31 seconds into the game. Courtney Lee, one of seven Celtics to score in double figures, came off the bench with 20 points. Kevin Garnett, playing for only the third time in the last 11 games, had 14 points and nine rebounds in less than 19 minutes.

Tobias Harris scored 22 points for the Magic (20-60), who started their 29th different lineup of the season.

QUOTABLE: "I like our team a lot. The key for us is to get through these two games, have some great practices and get ready for the playoffs. That's what you play the whole season for. Our veteran guys have gotten a ton of rest, our young guys are getting a lot of playing time, which will get them going for the playoffs. I think we're setting ourselves up for a pretty good run."

-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers on the Celtics' playoff outlook

THE STAT: The Magic tied an NBA record by losing their eighth home game by 24 or more points. The record was set by the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets and matched by the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats. The Magic's home finale will be against Chicago on Monday night.

TURNING POINT: The Celtics scored the first nine points of the game, then ran off 15 straight in the second quarter to lead 39-21 and cruise from there.

QUOTABLE II: "Right now we're as healthy as we're going to be for the rest of the season. I'm sure of that. If we play the next couple of games or of we don't, the most important thing is that we're ready for the playoffs."

-- Celtics guard Paul Pierce

HOT: Brandon Bass, who proved in Orlando that he will hit an uncontested mid-range jump shot if you let him take one, went 6-for-7 for the Celtics.

NOT: Harris' game-leading 22 points might be the most misleading number of the night. The Magic forward missed his first eight shots, and most of his scoring came after the Celtics had busted the game open.

GOOD MOVE: Needing just one victory (or Milwaukee loss) to nail down the seventh spot, Boston came out with playoff intensity against an overmatched opponent that had won its preceding game.

QUOTABLE III: "The aggressive nature that Boston came out with put us back on our heels . . . It's a great lesson for us going forward. You win one game and it has no carryover from the last game. Doesn't mean a thing. That game is over with, and can you prepare yourself for the next game?"

-- Magic coach Jacque Vaughn

BAD MOVE: The Magic started the 7-foot Nik Vucevic and 6-10 Kyle O'Quinn together for the first time, which limited them offensively (they made six of their first 22 shots) and didn't help defensively, either.

ROOKIE WATCH: The Magic played five rookies and three second-year players.

NOTABLE: The Celtics will play New York in the first round unless the Knicks lose their last three games and the Indiana Pacers win their last three . . . Garnett's 14 points brought his career total to 25,274, leaving him five points behind Reggie Miller who ranks 14th on the all-time list . . . The Magic have not won two straight since Dec. 17-19.

UP NEXT: For the Celtics, Tuesday vs. Indiana, Wednesday @ Toronto. For the Magic, Monday vs. Chicago, Wednesday @ Miami.