Keys to the Game

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Brandon Bass
Credit: 
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

Most 27-point holes, once dug, are never refilled. The Celtics tantalized fans in the final quarter, but couldn't close the deal Tuesday night in Orlando.

With his team trailing 85-60 heading into the 4th quarter, Jameer Nelson gathered his troops during the break and told them, "Don't look at the scoreboard. Just play". It was an example of the leadership Nelson has wasted little time in delivering to his new team.

The Celtics, apparently, heeded his advice, and remarkably found themselves having nearly erased the lead, drawing to within three points on a Kelly Olynyk 3-pointer with 2:34 to play.

The Magic pushed it back to five, but a crazy loose-ball foul against Olynyk, who shot a 3-pointer from the left wing, killed the Celtics' momentum and their rally. Olynyk ended up dragging down his defender with his shot on the rim, and the call wiped out a tip-in that would have sliced the lead down to three again. Instead the Magic built the lead to seven points, and the C's chipped away again but ran out of time and possessions, eventually falling 100-95. Brad Stevens called the hellacious rally "Fool's Gold", and his point is well taken. But it would have been a great story had the Celtics pulled it off.

Key Player

Plenty of guys contributed to the rally, so it's hard to isolate one, but Tyler Zeller once again helped turn the tide with his play in the paint.

Zeller dropped 22 points on the Heat Sunday night, and matched his scoring effort again on Tuesday. Stevens called him an "everyday guy" after the game, indicating that the center always brings consistent effort.

Zeller's 6-for-9 shooting effort and perfection from the charity stripe (10-for-10) was complimented nicely by his 10 rebounds. Eighteen of his 22 came in the second half, as the Celtics worked to make the comeback that almost was.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jameer Nelson, who is the Magic's all-time assists leader, handed out 11 dimes in his first start at point guard for the Celtics.
  • The Celtics connected on just two of their 22 first quarter field goals as they trailed 26-9 after the first stanza.
  • Six Celtics committed three personal fouls apiece.
  • The Celtics scored 30 points in the first half, but scored 30 and 35 in the third and fourth quarters respectively.
  • Three Magic players contributed 18 or more points, with Tobias Harris dropping 19 for Orlando.
  • All five Magic starters attempted 10 or more field goals, and four of those five connected on at least six of them.
  • Jared Sullinger was the only Celtics player who didn't score, as he went 0-for-5 from the field in just over nine minutes.
  • Jeff Green was the only Celtic who failed to record a rebound on the night.
  • Both teams sank seven 3-pointers.

Quote of the Night

"That was fool's gold at the end. I credit the guys who were in at the end... But what were we, 2-for-20 in the first quarter? Not gonna win very often like that..."

Brad Stevens on the Celtics' near-comeback.

Key Player
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