11/24 Game Preview: Magic at Celtics
BOSTON -- On May 24, 2010, the Orlando Magic defeated the Celtics in Boston to avoid a four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Magic, who visit TD Garden on Friday night, have not won in Boston since, losing Game 6 of that series to get eliminated and 13 straight regular-season games since.
They come to Boston with six consecutive losses overall, falling to 8-10 after an optimistic start. Now Orlando gets to face a Boston team that had its 16-game winning streak snapped with a 104-98 loss in Miami on Wednesday night.
"Right now, it's just like a spiral because losing is bad," Magic swingman Evan Fournier said Wednesday night after Orlando lost in Minnesota. "You wake up in the morning and you feel (sickly). Every time you watch the film session, everybody is down. It's just an awful feeling, and I can't wait to get a 'W,' man."
The Magic, who traveled to Boston on Thanksgiving, ran off a 6-2 record in their first eight games but have won just twice since.
"We've got to play mad for four quarters," Orlando coach Frank Vogel said Wednesday. "We've lost six in a row. We've got to play that way to start games and throughout the game."
Regardless of how Orlando plays, Boston has not been a friendly place for the Magic.
The Celtics will be doing something they haven't had to do since Oct. 20 -- play a game after a loss.
"It's tough, but I'm proud of this group," Boston forward Al Horford said after the Wednesday loss. "We put ourselves in position to win a game there, and we didn't make the plays down the stretch. We have to learn from that.
"It wasn't like we were necessarily dominating during the streak. But the will of this team is something that needs to be accounted for."
The Celtics overcame one 17-point deficit and two 18-point holes during the streak. They tried to crawl back Wednesday, but it just wasn't there as the record fell to a still-NBA-best 16-3.
"There's still a lot to accomplish going forward," Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said after following his 47-point effort in Dallas with an off night -- for him (23 points) in Miami. "It was a nice streak, but it was time to come to an end."
Boston coach Brad Stevens added, "We are not as good as that 16-game win streak."
The Celtics, who just came off a three-game trip and also go to Indiana on Saturday night, beat the Magic 104-88 in Orlando on Nov. 5. Jaylen Brown led six Boston players in double figures with 18 points. That was the eighth game of the 16-game streak that is now history.
Now, the Magic hope to end their own streak and give the Celtics two straight losses for the second time this season.
"Play like it's a playoff game for us -- that's the only way I see it right now," Fournier said. "We have to play extremely hard and with confidence. We've just got to find a way to get a 'W,' get this streak over and bounce back."