Keys to the Game: Magic 103, Celtics 95
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
The Celtics have lost three games in a row for the first time this season. The cause of Sunday’s loss? Defense, or lack thereof.
“I felt like they were shooting layups, for the most part, tonight,” Brad Stevens said of the Magic.
Three days ago, Boston failed to score with any consistency against Philadelphia. Sunday afternoon, however, the problem was at the other end of the court, as the Celtics failed to slow Orlando’s offense down during a 103-95 defeat.
Defense was an issue throughout the contest, as the Magic shot at least 50 percent from the field during each of the opening three quarters of the game. Orlando shot 60 percent from the field during the third quarter, as it turned a one-point deficit into a 19-point lead heading into the final period.
The key stretch of the game began at the 10:34 mark, when the game was tied at 62-62, and ended at the 2:49 mark, when Orlando had pulled ahead 85-69. The overall run was 23-7, during which the Magic shot an impressive 11-for-16 from the field.
Boston’s lack of defense was compounded by its lack of offense during the third quarter. The Celtics scored only 12 points during the frame, all while committing eight turnovers.
As always, the Celtics made a surge for a comeback, but this time, it was too little, too late. They pulled to within seven on multiple occasions during the final two minutes but were unable to make the key shots that would’ve truly made this a game down the stretch.
Kyrie Irving on Sunday notched his second performance of at least 40 points this season. He scored his 40 points on 14-for-23 shooting from the field and 7-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line. He made five of his seven attempts from beyond the 3-point line.
Irving’s shooting prowess was unrivaled by everyone else in the game. He made at least double the amount of field goals as any other member of the Celtics (Jaylen Brown made seven), and he made at least five more than any member of the Magic.
The five-time All-Star didn’t confine his performance only to scoring. He actually led all players in first-half rebounds with six before finishing with seven on the afternoon. Irving also tallied five assists, which were more than any Orlando player totaled, and he fell just one shy of Al Horford’s game-high tally of six.
The problem on this day wasn’t Irving. After a one-game absence, he came out and dominated at the offensive end of the court. His teammates, however, couldn’t keep pace, as they combined to shoot just 37.1 percent from the field during the defeat.
Box Score Nuggets
- Both teams scored 12 second-chance points.
- Kyrie Irving led the game with 40 points, marking his second game of at least 40 points this season.
- Elfrid Payton led Orlando with 22 points.
- The Celtics shot just 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) from 3-point range.
- Orlando committed only 10 turnovers, off of which the Celtics scored only eight points.
- In contrast, the Magic scored 23 points off of Boston's 15 turnovers.
- Jayson Tatum led the C's with 10 rebounds.
- Aaron Gordon led the game with 13 boards.
- Gordon shot just 5-for-17 from the field.
- Boston's bench combined for just eight points.
- Two Orlando reserves, Shelvin Mack and D.J. Augustin, individually outscored Boston's entire bench. They each scored 10 points.
- Daniel Theis and Terry Rozier each blocked two shots for Boston.
- Bismack Biyombo led the game with three blocks.
Quote of the Night
We haven't played consistently at both ends for a while now.
Brad Stevens candidly comments on his team's recent play.