Keys to the Game: Celtics 117, Magic 87

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Key Moment

The second night of a back-to-back game in the NBA is a tough obstacle to overcome. And typically, teams don’t show the effects of the schedule until the second half.

Trailing 50-49 at the half, the Celtics exploited a tired Magic team on Wednesday night, exploding out of the locker room in the third with a 26-8 run (with an 18-2 run inside there) to start the third quarter. That 75-58 lead put the Celtics in the driver’s seat, and by the end of the night, the lead grew to 30 points.

Despite Isaiah Thomas sitting out with a groin injury, the Celtics’ offense ran smoothly all night, and the ball movement was especially crisp. At the half, the Celtics had 24 assists on 31 buckets. Seven Celtics scored in double figures.

They outscored the Magic 68-37 in the second half.

Avery Bradley led the C’s with 23 points. After the game, Bradley told CSNNE’s Abby Chin that he came into the game with a “defensive mindset.” To that end, the Celtics held the Magic to 37 percent shooting.

“We just have to move the ball,” Bradley said. “We were sharing the ball, driving and kicking. I think Brad’s going to be very happy with tonight’s performance.”

Key Player

With Thomas out of the lineup, Terry Rozier played 26 minutes, and he made his presence felt off the bench. Rozier attacked the basket and dropped a career-high 16 points along the way.

On one drive, Rozier blew by former Celtic Jeff green with a nasty crossover shake-and-bake move. Later on, he kissed a drive off the left side of the glass as he fell out of bounds after taking contact.

Rozier was 6-for-13 from the field, and also came up with five rebounds. Rozier typically only plays about 18 minutes a night, so he made the most of his minutes.

"I just started feeling good about myself," Rozier said of his improved play on Wednesday night. "It starting feeling like I was in college again."

Box Score Nuggets

  • Both teams launched 26 3-pointers.
  • Seven Celtics scored in double-figures, and six of them scored 13 or more.
  • Seven Celtics grabbed four or more rebounds.
  • Twenty-four of the Celtics' 29 assists were in the first half.
  • The Celtics only committed 10 turnovers.
  • Jae Crowder led all players with a +26 rating, and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Boston went to the line for 29 free throws.
  • Serge Ibaka was the only Orlando player to block a Boston shot.
  • The Celtics dominated the Magic in points in the paint, 58-26.

Quote of the Night

Avery Bradley on the Celtics' effort in the second half, as they outscored Orlando 68-37 after the break.