By John Denton
February 1, 2013
BOSTON - Another night and another crippling injury to a starter for the Orlando Magic. Improbably, the hits just keep on coming for a snake-bitten Magic squad that can’t seem to get a win or a break these days.
Already forced to begin Friday night’s game without starters Arron Afflalo and Glen ``Big Baby’’ Davis, the Magic lost Jameer Nelson late in the second quarter and ultimately lost 97-84 to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
X-rays on Nelson’s arm were negative Friday night, but he was unable to return in the second half. Nelson, whose status for Saturday’s game in Milwaukee is up in the air, wore a long, black sleeve over his arm after the game.
``What hits?’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said, partly in jest. ``It’s part of basketball and we’ll continue to deal with it. It means other guys will have to fill in and fill roles and we’ll keep at it.’’
Despite all of the injuries, Orlando (14-32) hung tough for a half and impressively got within 57-54 of the Celtics (23-23) late in the third quarter. But Boston, who knows a thing or two about injuries after losing point guard Rajon Rondo and power forward Jared Sullinger this week to season-ending maladies, simply had more firepower late in the game.
The Celtics closed the third period with a 14-4 run and putting on a dunk show in the fourth quarter with several highlight-worthy stuffs from Jeff Green (17 points) and former Magic players Courtney Lee (14 points) and Brandon Bass (six points and seven rebounds). Boston veterans Paul Pierce (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Kevin Garnett (14 points and 10 rebounds) rested much of the fourth quarter as the score turned lopsided.
``It was unbelievable how we got ourselves back into the game and made it competitive,’’ Vaughn said. ``But they made shots and went on a little run and we just couldn’t answer back.’’
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