Denton's Dish: Sunday Recap vs. Celtics

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

``I played OK defense, but I was 3 for 12 and didn’t contribute on the offensive end the way that I needed to,’’ Davis continued. ``I feel like I didn’t rebound hard enough and I turned the ball over too much. I let my team down because they played extremely hard. This is on me, I don’t care what anybody says.’’

When the game was over, Rivers congratulated Magic coach Jacque Vaughn on the job he’s done so far coaching the team and he came over to Redick to offer up more praise.

``We have to play hard because our margin for error is very slim,’’ Redick said. ``It’s definitely a compliment coming from a guy like Doc that we play so hard. He actually said that to me at the end of the game about just how hard we play. So that’s nice.’’

The Magic’s five-game home stand continues Wednesday night when they host the San Antonio Spurs. Orlando faces the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at the Amway Center before heading to the West Coast for a nine-day, five-game trip. Vaughn believes the team’s first overtime game of the regular season will be beneficial somewhere down the line this season.

``This is a great experience for us,’’ Vaughn said. ``We had guys contribute off the bench. … It’s a great sign seeing guys wanting to play and wanting to play for each other. We’ll put it all together.’’

The Magic were coming off consecutive wins for the first time since opening the season with victories against Denver and Phoenix. Orlando thumped Detroit on Wednesday and played well down the stretch of a win against Cleveland on Friday.

Down as much 12 points early in the game, the Magic found themselves up as much as seven points midway through the fourth quarter following a 13-4 run to end the third period and three 3-pointers early in the final period. But the Celtics methodically clawed back into the game and used seven offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter alone to get extra chances against the Magic defense.

Said McRoberts, who had five offensive boards: ``I just try to do what I can to help. I’m trying to fill in where they need me. I don’t care who I have to guard as long as I have a chance to play.’’

Orlando avoided a dagger at the end of regulation when long-time Magic killer Paul Pierce missed a jumper from the free throw line at the horn. Arron Afflalo (15 points and seven assists) did a solid job defensively on the play, keeping Pierce away from his comfort zone.

Just as he did in Friday’s defeat of Cleveland, Nelson had a stellar performance in the third quarter to vault Orlando into the lead. After taking only two shots and scoring just three points in the first half, Nelson grabbed control of the game with 12 points in the third period. He closed the quarter with a five-point burst on a 3-pointer and a fade-away jumper to give the Magic an 82-80 lead. It was Orlando’s first advantage since the game was 6-4 early in the first quarter.

Turnovers continued to be a major issue for the Magic early on as they kicked the ball away nine times in the first half, leading to 13 points for the Celtics. It was just two nights ago that the Magic turned the ball over 16 times in the first half against the Cavaliers.

The issues handling the ball allowed Boston to build a lead as big as 12 points in the first half and led 58-48 at the break.

In the end, late execution – both at the end of regulation and in overtime – doomed the Magic. Orlando had just one field goal over the final 2:22 of regulation and only one basket over the final 3:30 of overtime.

``It just comes down to execution,’’ Redick said. ``It’s just about Boston’s will to just impose their plays. They run everything very hard, they screen and they have very good players. That’s execution is what it came down to, and we’ll learn from this.’’

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